One of the lessons in Creative Jumpstart 2022 was to use pieces from cardboard boxes and create a book. It ended up telling its own story as I chose photos and additional images. When I see old photos of people I don’t know I can’t help but try to discern the stories of their lives. Most photos are of joyful occasions, the subjects completely unaware of what is hurtling through time towards them. Sometimes there are ones that are sad, the story on display.
Photographs allow us to step into another time, into someone’s life and consider what it might have been like for them. And how it would’ve been for us, the struggles we would encounter were we to travel back in time and try to fit in. We can look at the elegant clothes without the burden of actually wearing them. Ride in the conveyances without the bone shaking, partake in the meals without the slaughter and day long cooking. It is a fascinating flight of imagination.
I doubt that online albums will hold the same appeal of sorting through photo boxes and albums. Much as emails lack the emotion of old letters and postcards.
The subway holds a wonderful collection of stories as it moves from station to station. The tales overlap as people get on and off, mingling in ways we can’t quite understand. Each person wrapped in their own thoughts as the platforms flash by and the disembodied voice announces each upcoming stop.
I haven’t been on a subway in over 6 years, yet I can hear the rattle of the approaching trains and the buskers music echoing along the platform. Feel the whoosh of air coming down the tunnel, smell that odd metallic and fume scent. It is all part of the subway experience of which the people are one more moving part.
When I would take the subway it was a means to an end, not an ongoing commute, so that may well color my view. If I had to do it daily no doubt the interest would wane as it would become a slog. But for that stretch of time it was an interesting slice of life.
I like drawers, and boxes and things with nooks and crannies. I like the worn history of such items and wonder about their tales. What happened to box 360 and 361 in this unit? It is an unfinished story of what happens over time as things are shuffled about and reassembled. Stuff happens. Box 362 looks rather as if it started life as box 36 and the 2 came along later. It gives the piece character as much as the patina and beautiful construction. I have no room for all the lovely, unusual pieces I come upon, I can only enjoy them as I pass and make up stories about them as I go.
I do not know The Who, what, where, when, why or how of this old photo. I can make a broad guess at the era based on the outfits. But what is the story here? What occasion prompted the visit and the broad photo of the old house? And ultimately how did it end up left behind to become a mantle piece prop in an architectural salvage yard. Clearly the finder was loathe to toss it out as trash. I could make up more stories than time allows, weaving ideas and dialog, and still never get to the truth of the image.
I wonder if anyone ever opens these curtains and enjoys the light coming through the glass sphere? Or if maybe just a hint of the color seeps through the material and that is enough. When i saw this window it struck me as a very lonely spot, there was a definite mood clinging to the building that seemed to reach out onto the sidewalk. It seems like every possible story could be contained behind these barriers, closely guarded to keep them within. Maybe it was just my imagination running wild again,but even looking at the image I can feel the oddness of the spot. Maybe once the sun and crowds have passed the curtains are thrown open and the window is lit from within changing the whole feel.