Influence and inspiration come from many places. I am often taken by a post made by someone else. Today’s wonder was inspired by the end of Ghostwriters’ job (the link is at the bottom of this text). The line that struck me was one of the last lines of the post, and to paraphrase was what message needs to be left for her grandchildren. Six years ago, I got my father’s slides and pictures. Many of the photographs and slides I knew had seen before. Some I had scanned. Some were my grandfather’s slides, my father’s father. I knew of these, of my grandfather’s love of the Wisconsin River near Wisconsin Dells Wisconsin. My grandfather loved to wander the shores of the river and took many pictures.
I wanted to add a story to those pictures. That was why I started wandering. To share a message that went with photos to share more than the hopes and dreams, to share what I was thinking. You see, I have all those slides, and I would, in a moment, throw them in the trash if I had that time again with my father and my grandfather. My mother reads these posts and comments, reminds me, connects with both the words the pictures. My kids sometimes read these posts. My wife reads every day. We talk about the things I remembered. The inspiration for me is to carry that message forward to my yet non-existent grandchildren; perhaps they will be in this world someday.
What message would I leave for them? That the creation of a picture is a two-part process? That there is the moment that the artist/photographer sees and the moment, the butterfly, the river, the smile that is captured. That connection between the moment and the story. I look at the pictures today that I am sharing, and I am humming Otis Redding’s “Sitting by the dock of the Bay.” Not that the song is often in my heart, rather than it fits the pictures. But the message I would leave my grandchildren doesn’t listen to that song. By all means, it is a brilliant song. The message I would leave my grandchildren is that their grandfather loved being on the water. So, did their great grandparents. So does their grandmother. So did their great-great-grandfather. That initial message that would convey to my grandchildren is that I love water. I love being on the water.
What would I say to my grandchildren? It is a new addition for me to consider my audience isn’t yet here.