A Year of Small Experiments: Photo Albums
Episodes of pink eye, sinus colds all around, a broken wrist, a bruised foot, a mid-month blanket of heavy snow, April had plans other than my own. I jumpstarted my physical well-being over the winter months, and I hoped that spring would encourage me to dive into more obviously creative projects.
Photo albums were slotted for April; it's now September, and I have yet to order a single album. Life got in the way of this well-intentioned project. My husband is not surprised and might question how well-intentioned it was. This project has been on my list for ten years now. Reset, restart. So it goes.
Old pictures fill my screen, endless digital files that need to be pared down, sorted, made into albums. Not generations old pictures, but a decade old. Weekend trips, holidays, visits with siblings, weddings, engagements, birthdays, a new baby followed by her first two years - I haven't even touched the international trips yet, too daunting. Some folders have a handful of images, a quick review, keep them all. Others, the image list scrolls on and on, twenty versions of the same scene. Delete the blurry ones, the confusion and distracted glances, the child running away; keep a few that border on flattering, vertical, horizontal, more and less zoom.
A more manageable collection develops, and I'm surprised at how efficiently I moved through years worth of memories. Pauses here and there to marvel at the way bodies and faces change in ten years; knowing smiles at the newborn, calm and innocent but requiring so much energy; a curious glance over my shoulder where were we?
With the purging and organizing comes relief, even in an unfinished project. I know this feeling well from dealing with physical objects in our house: get started, let go of the things that no longer serve a purpose, make a plan for both the wanted and unwanted stuff, the sense of progress will come.
With any luck, the end result of this project will end up crinkled and well-loved. If that's the goal, curious toddler hands won't make me crazy, and ten years from now I'll be glad I found the motivation and put in the effort. Images corralled in tidy electronic folders can't crinkle, so I'll press on, finding new ways to encourage myself.
This month: choose an album topic, select the pictures, edit, create and order the album.
Check out the other posts in this series: A Year of Small Experiments