I know the collection is in the thousands--maybe even into the five figures! There are prints in many sizes and both negatives and transparencies ranging from the roughly 3"x 4" of the large press "graflex" type cameras that used cut film through the 120 and 127 that were for the double lens reflex cameras like Dad's Rolleiflex and the "Brownie" box camera that was my first step into photography. And of course both slides and negatives from the 35 MM SLR type cameras that came along later. Now we have digital, at least I do, and take a lot with it but most of them I upload right away.
The second project is writing a kind of memoir. I think it is safe to say I led an interesting life, rather in the sense of the old Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times. Indeed I did and many aspects of life, some that I chose and others that were visited upon me by various influences, made it more so! I did have experiences not a lot of women in today's world have had and of course they mark me to this day. In seeking to be accurate on dates and events, I've been reading my old journals. I started keeping one a few days after my twelfth birthday, on the May 1 back in 1955. There is still so much of the child and girl that I was in those days left in me! Some of that is good and some is bad, but nonetheless, it is there. I still keep a journal, too. I quit for many years from about the time I started college and then went to work on through my marriage of thirty two years. There was not time and it seemed frivolous or pointless. Now I am a bit sorry I did not but that's okay. In a lot of ways that was the 'dull' segment of my life!
Yes, I am still sentimental and ruled much more by my heart than my head. I did pride myself in being practical and pragmatic, too, and to a considerable degree I am, but that is more of a veneer or facade than the real me. I am also a chameleon. I change my outward 'hue' to fit wherever I am and especially to those who are closest to me at any one time so I blend, fit in and encounter few conflicts. Yet despite the many guises I have hidden behind and lived inside over the years, the inner self is still there, almost unchanged. Older but not much wiser perhaps although I have learned much. I handle my quirks and protect my weak spots a bit better.
That is where the superstition comes in perhaps. While I am not a true believer in most "fortune telling" and such, I do study astrology a bit and read tarot cards, runes, and a variety of self-created omens that I observe in my daily life. And I do heed and respond to them all. I've had "readings" done--some were close and most were miles off--and I do find that astrology, especially, does shed some light on who and what I am and how things occur.
Here I'm talking not the internet or newspaper sun-sign horoscope but a much deeper and more complex look at where the various celestial bodies were when I was born and how they move through the houses that were established at that instant. Actually my personal belief leans more toward where things were at the moment of conception--when those two first cells joined and began to replicate to create a new being, the energies and radiation from the closest part of the universe has to have some impact. Perhaps at birth too though when the protection of your mother's body no longer shields you and you become an entity on your own. That's how I give it a certain credence or quasi-scientific cachet anyway.
Just for spits and giggles, I'll close with a couple of photos recently scanned--yes, they are both me, long ago and far away. I'd say at least two or three 'lifetimes' ago since I have lived several epochs so different they may as well be separate lives.
In the first one here, I was about five years old, perhaps as old as six. It was not dated so I am not sure. Then the next was when I graduated from high school. I had a dress under that gown which my maternal grandmother had made. It was a sweet virginal white, with puffed sleeves and a full skirt, probably more suited for a first communion at the age of ten or twelve than an nineteen year old graduate but it was made with love and I was happy with it. Those were simpler times. Now eighth graders wear strapless formals and I'm not sure what high schoolers wear--do I even want to know?! How times have changed.
More soon on these strange efforts of mine! Delving into the past is a peculiar kind of archaeology. I wrote a verse about that. Maybe I can find it for my next post.