“You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” John Green, Looking for Alaska
Time-Money-Responsibilities. That's the excuse. Why, if it weren't for Time-Money-Responsibilities, I'd a been someone living the highlife somewhere else. Right....
If we only had a crystal ball, maybe then we could manage the perfect storyline...to die with our last ten bucks in our wallet as we exhale our last breath. Perfect timing!
Every once in a blue moon I pluck a small cardboard box off the shelf and rummage through a collection of vintage family snapshots. Most are black and white, with a noir veneer.
Though I'm sure I was told, as my dear mother forced me to sit on her lap and go page by page, photo by photo, today I don't know half the people in those photos. And sadly, there's no one left alive that can tell me. I always glance at the reverse side, hoping for a hand scribbled revelation. But half the time there's a black mat of paper that suggests it was once glued to a page in some album. I regret waiting too long to take an interest in such things. In a digital world, who will take an interest in all the photos taken when the photographer dies?
Eventually our children will sort through the same old photos that are in a box labeled "Old Photos." But the reality is, all but a few will end up improperly buried in some landfill...strangers without stories to explain their relevance to those who came after. Like the daily lesson on a blackboard, it's a process of erasing the past and moving on to the next day. The who and where we came from, the hardships endured, the getting-back-up after failure, the laughter of happy times, and the tears of sad endings, are forever lost.
Thus, with reluctance and, more often than not, who gives a shit, l continue to blog photos and stories in the format of today's new age album. I bother to label photos, explain our adventures here and there. Who knows, as long as "someone" bothers to ante up for my domain name, these photos and stories will be available long after we are gone. What I wouldn't give to take a digital peek into the lives of my parents, grandparents, great grandparents. There is no "oral tradition" anymore. If personal history doesn't get written down, it's lost.
Of course, the world keeps on spinning no matter how significant or insignificant the life and story. We're all temporary fixtures on this earth. The best we can hope for is health and happiness and family that cares about the wellbeing of each other.
In the meantime, maybe, just maybe, someone, somewhere, might take inspiration from the "tracks" we've made on this earth before the sands of time cover them over for good.
Photos from hikes and bike rides near Wickenburg, Arizona...