reminiscing handle


I don’t have a handle on reminiscing.

If you aren’t always sprinting ahead into the future, at some point you’re going to have to catch your breath…and you might look back a little.

Now, if you have something pleasant to look back on, the past is going to look a lot more appealing.

I’m not some kind of savant (if this was some kind of “surprise! you’re not a savant!” party, now would be the time when people would jump up from behind the couch and yell, “Surprise!!! You’re not a savant!!!”)…I’m not some kind of savant who is the first person in history to recognize that we all sometimes like to reflect.

If the past is appealing, it’s more pleasant to look back at it.

That’s pretty deep.

I guess that everybody can find something good to think back on…if they haven’t crowded it out with the sporadic (or sustained…sometimes, for some weird reason, sad times stick around for a while) tragic memory.

I don’t think I’ve met anyone who isn’t touched by some kind of tragic event.

I’ve been blessed to know a lot of people who don’t define themselves by their tragic event, though.

Any “tragedy” I’ve been around has had a lot of good “crowding it out” for a long time.

So, unless I’m having some strange and unnecessary “pity party”, it isn’t hard for me to have my head filled with good memories at any given moment.

All that “tragic memory” stuff is just a long-winded way of saying, “Holy Smokes!!! What just happened!!! What a great life!!!”

Jenny was looking at some old pictures of the kids last night.

Our children look kind of alike. More so when they were babies than they do now, but they looked pretty similar when they were little.

It’s funny to look at these pictures and see how much the “new crop” looks like the older children.


I know that when you take a picture, you say “say CHEESE!!” and everybody smiles. I know that’s the way it works with pictures.  You can’t really trust a snapshot to tell the whole story.  You can’t really trust the “pavlovian response” to an order like “say cheese”. People are going to put on their best face when someone tells them something like “say cheese”.

But these pictures of these little kids, taken around a funky old house that was in the process of being made “livable”….that was in the process of being made livable with recycled and scrounged materials…all these pictures….what a joyous bunch of little faces.

Now, I had the old camera.  The camera was mine…but it was Jenny who was taking most of the pictures.

I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures…I don’t know why.

ln all these photos of the kids, they’re looking at Jenny and smiling or laughing. They’re living well…and my wife is there.

She’s right there with them…and they’re smiling at her.  

I bet she never even had to say, “SAY CHEESE!!!”

We forget who is standing behind the camera when we’re looking at the image.  We don’t remember who we were smiling at when the shutter clicked.

I reminisce sometimes. Sometimes, I spend so much time looking back that I trip myself up while I’m trying to move forward at the same time.  It’s probably good to really commit to one direction or the other…it’s probably smart to take a seat before you do any really heavy reminiscing.

I think that a question I may start asking myself is “Who was taking that picture? Look how happy all of those people are! I wonder who they were smiling at?

I want to take pictures of happy people, too.



About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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