How To Really Make a Memory

_DSC3114-268A memory is just a photograph, framed in that place where your mind overrides the rest of your body, that hair’s breadth of a second before ration or emotion get their bearings enough to have a say about what just happened.

It is half intuition and half discipline to see that passing moment and quickly line it up to get the impression as it really is. To be true to that impression, your ration and emotion have to be on a tight reign and know their place, and that takes a lifetime of wrangling for some of us.


Taking a photograph and ordering a memory are both a process of experiencing first, then choosing what to hold on to about it.


Sometimes ration says to wait for the pretty places, the pretty people. Trouble is, those run out right quick. Then emotion says it’s all a wash, press that shutter exactly where you’re at but don’t bother to change the settings on the camera because even though it’s dark here, what’s the use of trying anymore? Then the darkness makes you panic, but maybe your anxiety really began when you ran out of the pretty subjects and places that were your desired memories, your desired photographs.


Then you hear that voice, the only one clear enough to discern through the ceaseless prattling of that ration and emotion, and He says:

“Wait for the light”.

The very best photographs are made by the light. 

Not by just the “right” subjects and compositions.


The most ordinary subjects are transformed by it,

are made alive by that light. 

And so when things happen like they always do, and ration and emotion want to process (albeit skimping on truth) and ready themselves for the next thing, perhaps wait for just a bit. Wait for the light to expose what’s important and shade where it needs to be dark. Then package that photograph up, file it away, and when it comes out again someday, it will be something of joy, even if the subject was dark.

The light will make it worth seeing again.