Memory is more than a dustbin of time, stuffed with yesterday’s trash. Rather, memory is a glorious grab bag of the past from which one can at leisure pluck bittersweet experiences of times gone by and relive them.
~Hal Boyle, 1911-1974
Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist for the Associated Press.
The photo above represents several decades of memories. On the left is my youngest granddaughter, Gabriella Grace (Gigi) and in the front is me with my youngest son, Jesse, who is Gigi’s father. Jesse and I are at the beach in Long Beach, California with one of the best dogs ever, Ford, our beloved, faithful Springer Spaniel.
In the back of the black and white photo is another piece of history: a photograph of one of my grandsons, Josh, with seven of his friends all about 21 years young. The group came to visit me last summer to take a tour of Bend’s ale trail. They all signed the photo and sent it to me as a Christmas present (largely responding to the disruption and mess they made of my home for a long weekend). I loved every minute of it!
My home is filled with photographs of friends and family ~ memories that remind me of the special bond I have shared over the years with so many fantastic people. I also have albums and small books filled with photographs. Because most, if not all, of our photographs are now digital, I recently purchased an instamatic camera so I could immediately have that memory slide out of the camera and place them in various places of honor to reminiscence later.
Following that practice, the amateur photographers and their instructors gracing the cover of this issue are making memories with their cameras. Abilitree’s annual photography event, called Lens Project, features these budding photographers capturing life in Bend at the Old Mill District— beloved landmarks, iconic scenery and elements of nature.
Abilitree empowers individuals with disabilities to develop their independence and inclusion in community life. Through their camera they are filled with the joy of exploring new places, meeting new people and living a full life of creativity and fresh experiences.
Abilitree partnered with local photographer, Steve Tague, to teach the photography classes and lead the workshop. Congratulations to Steve for bringing the passion of photography into view for his students. The lovely results are inspiring to even the best photographer: Ansel Adams reminds us, “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.” Photographs are amazing, allowing us to preserve history—evoking the people and places we hope to never forget. In today’s world of smart cell phones, everyone can take an incredible photograph. Most of us now have a digital library filled with memories.
The famed American writer, filmmaker, teacher and political activist Susan Sontage tenderly offered, “All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”