Card Trick Memories

can the photographs that we take influence our memories so much that they actually impact our personalities? i've long wondered why particular events seem more emblazoned on my mind, and i've discovered that in many instances, it's because those particular events are the very ones i've been so fortunate to have documented by capturing on film. are my christmas memories real, or are they simply a function of my expectations of what probably happened combined with the physical evidence transposed by film? i have an exceptionally "clear" memory of my second or third birthday…i can't remember which, exactly, but i remember my mom and dad telling me to make a wish when i blew out the candles on my cookie monster cake. they told me to wish for anything, and i wished for a strawberry shortcake tricycle. i got a strawberry shortcake tricycle. did i know this? or did i subsequently alter my expectation of the event so that it would conincide with my actual experience of the event, evidenced by the pictures? this was my very first memory…at least i think it was my very first memory. if we didn't have that technological beast known as a camera, what would my first memory have been? i remember swim meets and piano lessons and bike races and being a spy at anna's house and riding windy at autumn rose and getting a perm and aussie sprunch spray…tennis at the country club with aubrey (our very australian tennis teacher with the little white shorts)…but there are just as many alternate memories that could fill these spaces, and i don't know from what source they derive importance. and maybe it doesn't matter at all. as i'm sitting here tonight, on the little couch that brian gave us, with gus, the t.v. on mute yet no music playing, i have no way of knowing whether i will remember this time…in a week, a month, a year, a decade. without photographic evidence, there is certainly less of a chance that i will think about tonight. but if we took a few pictures, tonight might become more important, more memorable…are memories haphazard? random? i probably am making no sense. it's odd to realize that i can choose to remember these thoughts by publishing this entry (and thus creating some physical reality), or i can choose to delete it and to let more random thoughts evaporate, in which case i will never remember the conscious choice to delete. so if this writing remains, i suppose it may become momentous to some extent, since much of what i think; that is, MOST of what i think; is never recorded. and if it's deleted, it will retreat into the backdrop of unimportant thoughts of nothing that consume much of our lives. and maybe it is here that our true personalities hover, in the forgotten moments, waiting to be materialized, or perhaps content to boil beneath the surface. maybe they are only for ourselves, or a very few, to ever know. good night all, i love you little goose and chris.


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