Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Time Capsule

Last night, my grandma for some reason had out a huge box of pictures from the past 60 years of family history.  Apparently, every time she got ahold of a picture she just threw it in that box without rhyme or reason, so to say it was disorganized would be the understatement of the century.  If you can get past all the unfortunate fashion choices, facial expressions that convey an emotion that is best descibed as "abject misery," and the fact that everyone is quite a big larger than they were in those pictures (vertically and horizontally), you can see things about people that you never really saw before.  Because, you know, it's easy to forget that before these people were your parents, and grandparents, and great-grandparents, they were just PEOPLE.  They were children once, and they played in the yard with their dog, and they graduated from high school (well, some of them did... others had to quit long before to work on the farm), and they went to school dances, and they got new cars, and they fell in love and got married, and they got unfortunate hair-dos, and they went to the beach in funny looking bathing suits, and they had birthday parties with homemade cakes that were leaning to one side. 

They probably never imagined that they would grow old, or what we, their future generations, would be like, or how different things would be in the future.  And I started thinking, wouldn't it be amazing if we could be handed a box of random photos from OUR future, and get the chance to just go through them and look at all those people who don't even exist yet?  What would it be like to see them graduate, and go on vacation, and open presents at Christmas, and smile into the camera in a hospital gown while holding a tiny baby?  Would we laugh at our clothes and hair-dos, and about how naive and hopeful we were?  Would we cry about the ones who we notice are absent in the photos? 

Isn't it amazing that we can capture these moments in time and look at them so many years later, and think about how much time has passed and how much has happened to the people in them since them?  I feel lucky that my ancestors had access to cameras, and that I know what my great-great grandparents looked like.

What will my great-great grandchildren think of me?  They will certainly have a lot more pictures to look at than I've had, because the technology has come so far since then.

And won't it lose some of it's magic when they're looking at a digital image rather than holding a faded picture with bent corners in their hands?

I think I'm going to start printing more of my pictures so they can go into a box one day, so my great-grandchildren can laugh at my hair and my clothes and my funny looking car.

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