Looking at a pile of old photos, I couldn’t help feeling rather regretful.
I’ve never got into the habit of sorting out photos. However, it’s almost a habit of mine, a bad habit at that, to have photos taken thoughtlessly. Thus, like the saying “many a little makes a mickle”, photos have been piling up in my childhood to womanhood. In spite of that, those black-and-white pictures taken in my early years are scarcely kept, except a few survivals regarded as antiques. A bald baby picture of me that I treasured, the only one left, is now missing.
Familiar faces flash one by one before my eyes. Though the world is so small and we all live in it, yet we are alienated by physical and psychological distances, some smaller, some larger. With the passage of time, one cannot, regretfully, relive it with the same feeling as one had in the picture. What one can retrieve from the old photos is but a fraction of the past joy.
One takes pictures with different persons in different time and places. They fill one with nostalgia in various degrees – some more, some less, and others none. That’s why one has conflict feelings towards the old photos. Still kept with the current ones, they are even less favored than a daily-used cup, which is always close to the owner. These photos, yellowish with time, are your valuables after all, something you cannot bear to part with. You can move house, leaving behind what you don’t want, but how can you abandon yourself that is part of each photo?
How these fragments of thought influence me! Photos retain our images rather than our sentiment, which may not remain. The image is always there, but not its owner, whom the photo cannot keep, neither can it the event.
Of course, there are some of the photos still retaining my affection, such as those taken with my family members, with favorite playmates, fellow girl-students, and best friends, not only in pictures but also in my life and heart.
Now, since I have learned all this, I’ll not allow myself to be included offhand in a photo taken with others. I’ll make sure that the friendship can last before I take a photo with somebody.