Picture This

My husband, in addition to his day job, operates a photo & slide scanning/photo restoration/photo to dvd movie business. So if you have any photo scanning needs of any kind, any, let me know. Sorry, husband said since I force him to read my blog all the time I have to at least pimp him a little.

Anyhow, I help out, especially when there are large jobs since I have more extra time being that I only see clients at the spa on Fridays and Saturdays. I have become adept at things I never wanted to, like handling 35mm slides without my fingers ever touching the film. I can unjam the slide feeder with my eyes shut. I understand the technical meaning of DPI and I can tell you what is the best resolution for what you are intending to use your images for. I know how to apply corrections to eliminate scratches, dust and even correct overexposure and funky colors. I can even Photoshop your arm flab or pimples. I have seen nearly every size of film available from the standard to the more obscure large format film and I scanned film shipped to us all the way from Norway.

It's all rather boring I'm afraid. Well, that is except for one part--the pictures. I have seen more of some peoples families than they have. I have seen pictures from so far back that no one smiled and the photos were just a step or two above the daguerreotype. I have seen the ubiquitous seventies family with their shag carpeting and wood paneling and brightly colored crocheted afghans strewn over funky couches. I have seen fifties mom--her hair artfully curled with a precision I don't see in today's mom, thank heavens. I have peered at her sturdy heels, red lipstick and weary, hopeful expression.

Here is the thing that strikes me, that I have noticed after perusing thousands, tens of thousands of pictures. We are all the same. No one is special except to each other. There is no one that isn't loved by someone. No one will live forever. No matter how beautiful you are, one day you will become old and droopy and if you are lucky, gazing into the beautiful faces of your grandchildren.

There are pictures everyone has. The baby asleep in the highchair, the war wedding, the picnic, the small kitchen overflowing with family and food. There are young mothers, their faces smiling but the exhaustion still apparent. There are fathers holding their babies, exposing the tender side of even the most hardened, inaccessible men. There are the pictures of people in front of new homes small and grand. There are the family vacations both tense and fun. There are the kids at Halloween, whether it's the fifties hobos, cowboys and tramps or the more modern Ninja heroes and Disney princesses. There are the aging grandparents gingerly holding their great grandchildren, broad smiles washing over their faces making them look years younger if only for that moment.

We are all the same. It makes me feel so small and so big. Like I said, it means none of us matter in the end except to the people for whom we do. Rather than make me feel insignificant, I find this is really very good news. I need to keep this in mind when I worry too much what people think or spend too much time aspiring to greatness forgetting the micro in search of the macro. It is useful to remember when I worry too much about stuff or trivialities because it can keep things in perspective when one remembers that nothing is lasting, except maybe the photographic memory left behind.

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Gypsy said... May 26, 2009 at 3:17 PM  

I LOVE looking at pictures, especially old ones. A good portion of my Google reader is taken up by photo archive-type blogs. I just can't get enough of looking into other people's lives, how they lived, what they wore, how they looked, their expressions.

This was lovely, Chris. We're all the same, and we're all different.

Mongolian Girl said... May 26, 2009 at 3:45 PM  

Sweet, sweet, sweet. And, Miss FF, I can only imagine the beaty of YOU has a massive and wonderful impact on those close to you.

Laura said... May 26, 2009 at 6:10 PM  

You really write beautifully, and I was getting worried you'd gone missing.

NWFAMILYK said... May 26, 2009 at 6:17 PM  

Oh how I love reading your posts. They always seem to say so much with out being preachy. Somehow you always seem to hit the mark and help me to help myself get out of the funk I am in!!! Thanks - Formerly Fun - you brightened my day once again!! Looks like you are back!!!!

A Free Man said... May 27, 2009 at 6:01 AM  

You know what? That realization - that we're all the same - that changed my life. It took me years and year to figure it out, but it's an incredibly liberating realization, isn't it?

SSG said... May 27, 2009 at 8:48 AM  

i love this post. It is so true, sometimes when I wonder what should i do with my life, i rememember i am only blip in time, there are hundreds of people out there happy at the same time as me, crying at the same time as me, who will live and die with me, but in 200 years there will be no-one alive who has ever met me, and just as all those who lived and died before, their lives were important to wh knew them. What they had for dinner, all seemed important at the time, but in the end we're only here a short time, only meet a few people. Its scary but also cool, to just remember to enjoy the time we have, and we're never really alone. There's some cmfort in the passage of time.

Gwen said... May 27, 2009 at 9:34 AM  

Looking at old pictures is one of my favorite past-times. But it's weird, because it makes me sad. Strange, how you find hope and a reason for happiness in the fact that we don't matter except to those whom we do. I think it means my life has little to no value. It overwhelms me with dread and hopelessness to look at pictures of people who are long gone and that nobody can identify or remember their name. Beautiful post.

well read hostess said... May 27, 2009 at 10:17 AM  

Would you guys consider adopting me? I want to live with you and go to work on take your daughter to work day.

Anonymous said... May 27, 2009 at 2:52 PM  

Wow! What's with all the deep thoughts and long- winded posts lately? You used to be funny (no good stinky hairy pants lady?) but now you just seem like you're trying to win some Reader's Digest contest or something.

Pueblo girl said... May 27, 2009 at 4:31 PM  

Oh, forget anonymous. Yes, yes and yes. Good post worth waiting for (oh, didn't you know I was lurking?)

Anonisafuckerff said... May 27, 2009 at 4:32 PM  

Hey Anon, did FF start charging for content, I missed my subscription notice. IE.When you are paying for the content your input might be valued, until then WTF?

Sandi said... May 28, 2009 at 7:24 AM  

I am totally using your husband to do DVDs for my two children of their father. I need to gather up all the pictures.

I am so excited to know this about your husband.

scanning daddy said... May 28, 2009 at 10:00 AM  

Beautifully said -- It's one of the things I love about our little business -- photographic archeology :-)

Blues said... May 28, 2009 at 10:24 AM  

Ahhhh, my FF is back.

Love this post. Makes me think of my old family photos and you're right, we all have the same ones.

It's funny because here, the people still don't smile in pictures and they laugh at how fakey smiley we all are in the American pictures, like we wish we were on a toothpaste commercial or something.

The message is also a really important one for me, and one I'm digging my way through, focusing on the micro instead of the macro. Maybe I need to add a little micro member of the family and that will help me put things into perspective and stop dreading the perceived failure of my macro.

Rassles said... May 28, 2009 at 8:26 PM  

The best is seeing pictures of complete strangers, years ago, hanging out and doing the exact same things that we do with our friends and family.

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