Black and white negatives. I don’t even remember when or where I found them, or how they got on my desk. Occasionally I held the strips up to the light, thinking “it’s been at least a decade since I’ve used film” or “I can barely make out any faces.” I did however recognize my brother Pete. Of course I recognized him, he always stood out. I was pretty sure I saw Andy and George too. But for some unknown reason I concluded that these negative’s were Pete’s, not mine and I often wondered why they made their way to my desk. Pete died almost two decades ago yet artifacts of his keep appearing in the strangest places. These were obviously not something that needed my immediate attention. So I kept putting them down, still within reach, but definitely out of priority range.
But I kept these film negatives on my desk knowing that one day I would make prints. I would tell myself that I would get to it eventually. A label applied to many an item on my desk. It’s what I do – get to it eventually. I put off doing anything about it; I didn’t even rank them it in priority as there is so much going on in my life and in our world that needs my immediate attention.
Well, I got to it last week. I’m not sure if it was the holiday spirit that got me reminiscing or something more mysterious. On the other hand it may have just been the frenzied pre-holiday ritual of clearing my desk before December knowing that not much else will be accomplished in the last month of the year. But I took those negatives to the camera shop and lo and behold, they were mine. Snapshots in time, circa 1980. A flashback to a time of wonderment, excitement and electricity and a trip back to a place of laughter, friendship and yes some debauchery.
I’m still not sure when he put those negatives on my desk, but I’m pretty sure I know why I printed them when I did. It’s the holiday season, a time to laugh, love, reminisce and feel the warm glow of all those souls (both departed and still with us) that have touched our lives.
May the spirit of those souls that have touched your life keep you warm, smiling, and full of love this holiday season. Share that warmth with everyone you see.