I got an attack of the giggles over dinner with friends this week over the mispronunciation of a meal that had entertained me from childhood. The simplicity of a memory in another place, a completely different set of circumstances gave me great heart. The hidden and invisible stories we all hold that sneak out in such moments are such a gift and invitation to discover or in this case, re-discover a lost joy.
Memories are powerful tools and weapons to hold us in place and take us to new horizons. The trick I find at play is to not get caught into sentimentality or melancholy. So the gooey warmth of a forgotten cheery moment holds a lot of comfort.
I am currently running for a public office and reconnecting with parts of my past lives in the process. One of the activities I am doing is a weekly photo on a social media platform entitling it #ThrowbackThursday. I am getting more interest and commentary on these pictures than almost any other thing I am doing. People seem to be enjoying discovering something they didn’t know about me, or getting a glimpse into another part of my story. There is a mixture of intrigue and intimacy in the responses.
I have also enjoyed campaigning. I love the focussed project nature of it and the clarity of the result – someone will win and everyone else will lose. I try to reframe this competitive perspective – I feel like I have already won, by getting up and having a go. I am also coming off a strong base and deep roots decades in the making and long before a couple of my opponents were even born. I am not being ageist and I am supporting young candidates, but I do have the years on them, and it is a-kind-of, unfair advantage. The invisibility of my story peeking out through old photographs, is just one way in which herstory can come through bringing a version of what’s gone before. As the curator I get to choose which pictures go with what weeks.
As I have written previously, so many of the photos I have been sorting through don’t have me anywhere to be seen, as I am behind the camera. I am learning how to take reasonable ‘selfies’ now which is going someway to rectify the problem going forward. The looking out into the eyes of others versus looking into your own eyes and seeing yourself I am beginning to appreciate as a portal to introspection. The ‘selfie’ also has endless capacity to eek out a giggle. Selfies are also in the business of making memories. A lovely combination for the invisible and visible worlds to collide through giggles and digital mirrors.
Being in front of the camera, certainly makes for a different perspective.