Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness. And happy memories. And happy pictures. And – especially – happy places. You see, I have a lot of happy places. There’s the room in the mountains of Southern Virginia where I lived in for four months while recovering from pneumonia. There’s the rock on the shores of Lake Victoria where I pondered the complexities of life while living in remote Africa for two months. There’s the town of my college days, full of echoing laughter and climatic moments. There’s the deserts of Arizona where I escape into the sunshine.
A couple weeks ago, I was driving 300 miles north to my college town and started pondering (because, you know, roadtrips are good at that) and reflecting (miles and miles and miles of thinking) and wondering (when I think, I question): why do I love these happy places so much?
Well, I can easily tell you that. So easy.
At each of these places, I have memories. Solid, true, happy, laughing, glorious memories.
And, usually, these happy memories still have a twinge of bad memory. And, no, thats not an oxymoron.
In Southern Virginia, that mountain view was where I lay flat on my back for a couple months. Energy levels at a record low.
In Uganda, I lived with no running water, no electricity, no Internet. Talk about loneliness.
In college town, I lived in a constant state of stress and sleep deprivation.
In Arizona, there’s always sunburn.
But its the hard times that make the happy memories all the more enjoyable.
And the best memories…ah…yes…they include photographs.
But, see, a photograph isn’t just a picture of a thing or a place or a person…
A photograph is an image of a memory. A memory on film. An image of that person/place/thing that creates the memory.
So that’s why I do what I do. That’s why I take photos. That’s why I love taking photos.
I’m making a memory.
And showing it to you.