Lifting The Spirits #3

Old photos. Old days. Old ways. They can make you laugh. They can make you cry.

My grandmother used to keep photographs in-between the pages of her favourite books. She often themed the photos according to the title of the book. There were photos of her rose bushes in The Secret Garden, photos of she and her sisters as children in Little Women, photos of family celebrations in Pride and Prejudice. Sometimes it was more fun to look at the photos than it was to read the book. When one of her many friends was ill she used to take a book with her and I think there was more discussion of the memories revived from the photos than reading.

Looking at old photos always lifts my spirits, even if the people in the photos are now gone. Sometimes I see a photo of myself taken during a particularly traumatic time and when I realise I didn’t look like I was falling apart, I looked normal, it is a reminder of the resilience of the human spirit. As well as the power of good lighting.

Old photos. Don’t ever throw them away. One day you just might need them to cheer you up.

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13 thoughts on “Lifting The Spirits #3

  1. how very true. read your blog with my morning coffee and it brought a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. sometimes the simplest things bring you the greatest pleasure. Loved your story about the waterfront

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  2. Of course, there’s a downside to those old photos, too:

    He: ‘God, I can’t believe I had that moustache!’ (or, those trousers/that sweater)
    She: ‘Did I really dye my hair that colour?’ (or, wear skirts that short, wear so much make-up)

    ‘Wow! What an old clunker!’ (it was my pride and joy at the time)
    ‘You had a MOTOR BIKE, Grand-dad?’

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  3. I’ve been trying to get my mother to sit down and identify faces and places in the stack of photos she has, but she never quite gets around to it. Of course, she’ll turn right around and grouse about the boxes of unidentified photos that my grandparents left behind and we’ll never know the stories behind those pictures.

    But there are some mighty fine memories. Killer has been unearthing a ton of them during the move, many from our high school years. Wow, what class we had back then! LOL!

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  4. I LOVE old photographs, especially the black and white ones (I’m sooooo old! LOL) My parents were quite thrifty with most things but when it came to photos, my dad was such a shutterbug! I gave his box-format camera away to a friend who had helped me many, many times. I hope he is enjoying this camera, it took so many memories and preserved them. I agree, NEVER throw them away…precious!

    Lovely post and series idea Sel, lovely. G

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  5. OLD GRIZZ:
    I am a big fan of the simplest things. They often cheer me up. Just like a visit from Old Grizz does!

    TRAVELRAT:
    Some of the fashions are hilarious, aren’t they? I remember when perms were in – I looked like a sheepdog. I guess we didn’t realise how ridiculous we looked at the time because everyone else was wearing the same thing.

    KAREN:
    I didn’t realise you and Killer went to school together. How awesome. You have to try and identify those photos, Karen. Imagine the stories that will come to light. That is the kind of project that I love!

    GERALDINE:
    You are not old!! I really love the old black and whites. They made anything look elegant. Some of my fave modern photography is B&W. It is just so stylish!

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  6. Selma – those are all beautiful pictures! If you ever want me to create you a scapbook of your photos let me know – I will be more than happy to make you one! And yes pictures are great @ lifting spirits. I have so many of Mica and each time I look at them I always have a smile on my face! I have been thinking about you a lot lately – I hope your dad will be OK!

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  7. Another comment re: black and white photography. If you ever get a chance to look at some of the photo books that were made from the Kennedy’s family photos, it’s worth the browse. These photos are all about what you say above, they have so much depth and character.

    Jackie Kennedy was such a stunning woman in her younger days and the photos of her at that time, with her children etc…gorgeous reminders of another era. I also noted (and this is rather strange!!!) that she had the most beautiful SMALL teeth that looked REAL! Not the ‘chicklet big bright white teeth’ that so many celebs flash these days that are impossibly fake LOL. I guess better than fake boobs (no, that’s not the case either, usually both eh?)

    That’s your hahahah….for the day Sel. I hope it brings a little smile to your day. Hang in there. xoxoxoxo

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  8. MAMA ZEN:
    It’s actually really nice. My sister has the best ones. She’s done a lot of travelling and is a really good photographer. She puts her own travel photos in travel books. They are awesome.

    TBALL:
    Mica lifts my spirits too. I always have a big smile on my face whenever I see her. I might just get you to do a scrapbook for me one of these days. You are so talented at things like that. Thanks for the kind thoughts!

    GERALDINE:
    I saw some of the Kennedy photos at an exhibition a few years back. I just loved the fashions, the houses – everything. You’re right – Jackie was the epitome of elegance. I know that many women at the time wanted to be just like her!

    MELEAH:
    It really works, doesn’t it? It is actually incredibly therapeutic!

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  9. I love sifting through old photos, letting my mind caress old memories that would be forgotten otherwise. It’s not that we ever forget – we just don’t think about them without the trigger.

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  10. Just the other night we sat and looked through old photo albums. It’s lovely to look back and remind yourself about happy days gone by – sometimes we forget them and only remember the opposite!
    x

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  11. TEXASBLU:
    We don’t forget, do we. But there are so many memories crammed in that as you say, sometimes we need a trigger to recall them. I used to love the old slides. I don’t think people do that anymore, do they. Having a slide night was one of my favourite things as a child!

    RACHEL:
    I agree. I am guilty of sometimes focusing too much on the bad things that have happened and not remembering the good. I am fortunate that I can truthfully say the good times have outnumbered the bad!

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