I've been away for a few days. Much of it I was sitting; although there was a bicycle ride. I rode through the deserted streets of a trailer park and watched the setting sun turn scrubby desert hillsides purple. Most of the trailers had a color cast akin to the concrete they rested on. One single-wide had been lovingly painted a rich lavender color with plum trim. It was a bright bit of punctuation at the end of a lifeless street. My ride was brief, but it took my mind away from thoughts of ghosts and mortality— it made a few minutes of my visit simple.

* * * * * 

At other times, when all the sitting got to be too much for me, I would wander about my grandparents' trailer home and take pictures. Only the most precious of objects are allowed a life now: pictures of family long passed and snapshots of those that still live on. Plaques, certificates, toys, saints and paintings. These are the items that serve as touchstones for memory. They clutter dusty shelves and whisper tales to me that are more fabrications of my imagination than fact. 

* * * * *

I begin to generate a different perception of time the longer I stay and this, in turn, compels me to take more photographs. It is the only control over time that I can wield— this shutter, these moments that I compose, they will protect me from loss. I will print them out and pin them to the wall like a collection of butterflies. My negligent memory will be thwarted by these specimens of perception and I will not grow old. 

No comments: