|After a 10 km (6 mile) backpacking hike, Linda relaxes on the beach of Lake Frances in|
Glacier National Park, Montana in the early 90s.
This weekend we have been going through a couple of boxes of visual memories. Hundreds and hundreds of prints, just a small portion of the 1 trillion photographic prints made worldwide during the history of film cameras.
A process to record visual memories that began in 1827 allowed our lives to flash before our eyes. As we shuffled through the years via squares and rectangles of chemical-infused plastic, we triggered neurons we didn't even know we still had.
What do you do with photos in an extreme downsize? Aren't photographs "priceless"? I have read that when people enter their burning homes it is largely for a few reasons - saving loved ones, pets, and photographs.
I am not sure that I want any material thing having that kind of power over me.
Our initial plan was to keep the photos by scanning the prints into our computer, but once we saw the enormity of the task, decided we needed a Plan B.
Plan B was View and Cull.
It took hours, but we cut the print piles down by about 70%. It was exhausting work that also had moments of exhilaration, both in the memories triggered, and in the relief in unburdening our lives of stuff we hadn't looked at for years.
The next step was Cull Again to reduce the pile by another 50%.
At several points in the process we were ready to tip the whole memory pile right into the bin, never to be sorted, shuffled, or touched again. But we persevered, we laughed, we cried, and we let go. But it is a work in progress.
Now for the slides.