Surrogate memory.

There was a period of time where I stubbornly held to the belief that the tourist school of photography, taking snapshots of things while you were doing them in order to remember doing them, was nonsense. I thought that being concerned about documenting your activities would thereby dilute the activities themselves: one should focus on the moment at hand and not worry about remembering what was going on in the future. Some autonomous, subconscious function in the brain would be gleaning important details from whatever you were doing and planning to remember was foolish, that you would have grown from the experience whether you had proof of it or not. Nostalgia was extravagance.

I could pin that headstrong stance on the folly of youth, but that’s something that old people do, and I have a birthday which is far too imminent to risk labeling myself thus.

I suppose what I’m saying is that I’m glad that I took photos when I hiked the West Coast Trail, solo, in 2003. And I’m glad that I happened to tidy up my desk and find a pair of hilariously outdated photo CDs mixed in the stacks of old PC games. Nostalgia may be extravagance, but what’s so wrong with extravagance?

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