Time and Disposable Cameras
For some reason, with every break from school, it gets harder and harder to leave home. Freshman year, on the eve before my departure, I was overcome with excitement, masking the inevitable pang of homesickness. But now, in my sophomore year, after half a dozen trips home between academic terms, I feel a heaviness that extends past the walls of my heart. In every organ, I ache with homesickness, where home is where my family is. And I haven’t even left my room.
I just spent the last two hours scanning photos from the 11 rolls of film I got developed a few days ago. I watched Lie To Me, a television show, to keep me company in the late hours of the night. But my mind wandered. As photo after photo went through the scanner, I was taken down memory lane. A recent memory. A continuous one of these last few weeks. A wonderful one full of the warmth of family and home.
As I grow older, even though I have not even seen two decades of life, I am increasingly aware of the transient nature of things. Perhaps it is because of the new year, the opening of a new decade, that I feel so pressured by the way time never waits for anyone or anything. Things that are will not be forever. Nothing seems to stay the same. And the strings of todays are not the strings of yesterdays or the strings of tomorrows. Why is it that we are trapped in this world? It is like we are stuck on a train that never stops moving. Is it possible to smell the flowers as they pass by?
Most of the time, I try not to think about the future. I find the prospect of the future frightening, impenetrably mysterious. But tonight, one of the first evenings of 2010, I cannot but think about what this year will bring, what this decade will bring. What will become of my life and of me? What will become of my family? When hundreds of thousands of people countdown to 2020 in ten years, where will we all be?
I have my hopes and my dreams. But as time passes and I keep striving to make them a reality, the thought of dark things presses in on me. I have never been scared of death much. Mostly, it’s the dying part I’m scared of. Will there be pain when I close my eyes for the last time? But sometimes I am scared. Not for me, but for those close to me. I cannot imagine a world without them, and perhaps this is why it is becoming harder and harder to leave home, even if it is only for a few months in college. So much can happen in three months. Why can’t I be in two places at once?
These are dreary thoughts for the start of a new year, so perhaps to cheer myself up and let my tears dry cold on my skin, I will write a list of resolutions for 2010. Perhaps they will not be resolutions in the traditional sense (e.g. “Lose x pounds.”), but hopes. Things to look forward to. Things to love.
- Family. They’re always there for me, and I love them more than I can consciously imagine.
- Friends. Who are wonderful, always.
- Math. Which I love, deeply and simply.
- Books. Which work wonders for the heart and the imagination.
- Words. No one can live without them. I want to learn to use them better.
- Walks. Because they make you slow down and smell the air.
- Music. People like Sufjan Stevens and Priscilla Ahn have creative geniuses that should be recognized.
- Photographs. Memories on film. Must I say more?
- Clocks. So that we can make the most of our time.
- Planners. For the same reason as above.
- Moleskines. Because they’re wonderful for journalling and anger-release. And for thinking “out loud” on paper.
- School. Learning in concentrated form.
- Men. Dating’s fun. Stuff you can’t learn from books. Thankfully. I think.
- Yarn. I should put more yarn stuff on here. Like hat patterns I’ve made up and such.
- Movies. Because even a nerd like me likes to give her brain a rest every once in a while. Romantic comedies? Yes, yes yes!
The list could go on for ages, but it is the early AM, and I must get up early in the morning. I like getting up in the morning. Sometimes, you get to see gorgeous sunrises. The type that makes the world seem heavenly and unreal.
[Ashland, OR. October 2009. Disposable Camera.]