Thursday, January 1, 2015

Jan 2015

I offer here
A memory from an old slide.

The year is 1965.
Twas January then, too.
My graduate show
At Trinity University
In San Antonio, Texas.
Maybe there will be
More memories to come.

This new year
Begins on Throwback Thursday.
I’m thinking this may portend
A whole Throwback Year.
We’ll see, shall we?

In the meantime
The idea spawns
Feelings of fond anticipation
For faces long forgotten.
I scan slides from a past
That traces my traces
And those of my family,
My kids in particular, of course…
And those of my friends.
Faces and names
I can now re-connect.
I even Google some I’ve lost
To see what they’re up to
These days.

This one lives in New Mexico
And blogs about chorizo.
This one is still in Sydney
And owns his own business.
This one married a guy
I remember in a totally other context.
Did I introduce them?
I don’t remember for sure, but
I think
I did.

They all look so young.
I wish we had taken selfies
In those days.
I’d like to remember me,
Young too.

And food.
I wish we had taken food shots.
Chicken-fried steak in Dallas,
An option I seldom chose,
But which now I somehow miss…
And cafeteria feasts in Highland Park.
I remember some glorious
Meals in Mexico:
Unlimited guacamole and pollo pebil.
Mixed grills in Oz.
I love that you don’t
Have to choose among
Your favourite bacon,
Sausage or ham.
You get to have them all.

Shrimp-filled avocados
In Maroochydore…
Where koalas hung out
Sleeping in avocado trees
During the day, then
Crossed the road at sunset
For the eucalyptus leaves…
Because koalas never drink
In the home of the black swans.

And what about that
Thai liver with peanuts
In Seattle?
No slides of that
But it was the best liver
On the planet.
Besides, I was born
In Seattle.
But that was before
I ever took any slides…
So I have an excuse
For not recording that part.

Then there are all the
Places to remember.
Mexican cities and pyramids.
Sydney’s zebra crossings
And her Harbour Bridge
And her Opera House
The year it opened.

Vancouver, the lush…
Where even I could
Keep houseplants alive.
It rained the day
Three-year-old Peter
Held a baby koala
In Brisbane and I dared
Not carry my camera
Through a flooding deluge.
I’ll have to remember
That in my mind.
I do, still.
Trust me.

Of course, I have all those
Black and white Kodak moments
That my parents snapped.
I definitely look young in those!
Then there are the ones
From my mum’s and dad’s
Younger days.
And some from even before:
All ancestors
Whom I need to label
For familial posterity
‘Cause I’m the keeper.

Look how cute little Peter
And little Kate were.
They still are.

Slides turn into prints.
Eventually digitizing
Catches up with the
Already digital.

Throwback Fifteen, then.
I’m tracing my own history
Along with the history
Of home photography:
Old posed sepia, Kodak snaps,
35mm slides, then colour prints
Processed by Black’s.
All give way to digital camera
And eventually iPhone.
Oh! And Photoshop!!!
Oh my!

Seeing, after all.
Is believing…
And believing can be
Like all memories:
Polished for emotional
     And sharing.

Happy New Year!
Happy reminiscing!

~Bette Forester, Toronto, 1 Jan 2015