Friday, January 8, 2010

Carousels of Youth

I could build a wall with the boxes of slides I finally received from the stepmother. They were in my dad's closet for the last 30 years... at least. And now I have been facing the painful (literally when you have Reynauds) task of sorting, scanning, and sharing them. Yes, I could build a wall... but instead I am tearing it down. Tear down the wall!

The metaphorical bricks in my emotional masonry were introduced sometime in-vitro. You can tell by the startlingly stone-faced, drooling, anxious-looking infant rarely seen not trying to shove something in her mouth. My first word may have been "ggaarrrrrrhhhgggrrrr".

Then I got cute. Then I got fat. Then my mother died. Then I got fatter. Then the carousels stopped spinning and life was recorded on Kodak Instamatics, in 24 hour photo huts (note: don't take incriminating pictures in Jamaica and have them developed at a PhotoHut), and through digital media programs.

In the old days, photographs could gratify (or gross out) instantly... but slides are jewels you can't appreciate until you have all the right tools - and lots of patience! Slides are like sunflower seeds - you have to do a lot of work and the reward may be a dud, but the next one calls out to be scanned... and the next... and the next...

Most of these slides I haven't seen since I was very young, so I don't remember any of them. It's like I'm meeting my mother... again. Only I'm 43 and she's 23. And she's in love... and on her honeymoon... and smoking while she's pregnant... and posing like she's actually cooking... and living a good life... and then she doesn't look so good. She looks tired... and in pain... and forcing a smile... and then the pictures of her just stop all together. Now I can see her beautiful again.

My dad was always a handsome man. Even bald at 15, he was a cutie-pie! And he leaves no doubt - from both in front of the camera and behind it - that his family was his world. Through hundreds and hundreds of slides, he epitomizes LOVE in every image - from my mom reading a magazine to his kids just horsing around... I mean, how many shots of potty training does one parent really need??? Regardless, I can't imagine a father ever loving his family more than our dad loved us. Ans this, folks, is where one of those wall just comes tumbling down...
So if your curiosity has been aroused, you might like to know that lots of the photos have made it to Facebook (three albums at least) so that my sister could "enjoy" them too from afar... so much power in my hands, but she trusted me and I haven't abused my power... yet. Although she will hate this photo of us with our dad... but I cried when I saw his face... his love.

Love ya, sistah! And yes, our parents were f*cking awesome!!!