I am super-duper über excited today, somewhat relieved and a little sad all at once. This is my last post for the writing challenge and I can’t believe it’s all coming to an end. I did imagine the challenge to end with a big bang but never in my wildest imagination did I imagine it would involve me writing about a thing I treasure. I really had to think so hard about this one before I could finally pinpoint one thing I truly treasure in my life.
Let me set the records straight; I don’t treasure things, I treasure people. That is just who I am. No matter how expensive a thing is, I have never been one to get sentimentally attached to it. Don’t get me wrong, I take very good care of the things I have, be it dear or budget. What I don’t do is wrap my heartstrings around them because I don’t get my sense of worth from things. So, that explains it!
Well, after much mind juggling, I had my light bulb moment!
Pictures! Yes, pictures!!
Oh my goodness, I love and treasure these paper and pixelated reflections. I’d cry you a river if I lose any. No! I won’t cry, I’d wail you an ocean if that happens! Okay, that’s an exaggerated embellishment but you get the picture. I’m sure this attachment has nothing to do with the glossy or matte paper they get printed on. For me, it’s simply the beauty of precious moments in time captured for life! Sometimes, our photographic memories do great injustice in recollecting these moments accurately.
I remember many years ago, in trying to assert my independence, I headed to the food market all by myself to help mum get some things. I had a fancy red pencil-case then which doubled as a wallet. On this very day, I had in the wallet some money, a couple of pens & pencil and two photos. Somewhere between home, getting on the public bus and the market, I misplaced it… more like it got nicked by some hoodlum who took advantage of the pandemonium that occurred as we were trying to board the bus.
You would not believe if I tell you that I wasn’t as bothered about mum’s money that got stolen as I was about the photos. My heart literally ached when it dawned on me I’d never see those photos again. A lot went into play to have those photos in the first place. This was a time when you’d have to buy a film with either 24 or 36 exposures, feed into an analog camera then wait for weeks to exhaust the exposures on the film roll before taking it to a photo developer to develop them, squint at the sepia colored films to select what you can make out as the best of the lot and get them printed!
When those pictures were taken, I was in secondary school. A classmate and I noticed a photo studio near our after-school lesson site. Outside the one room studio was a signage with the price list. So, we planned and saved up money to have a photo session together. For days, I looked through my closet to decide on which two outfits I would hide in my school bag and take with me to school on the D-day. I doubt if you’d understand the joy that filled my heart when the D-day finally came. We had a good time that day though limited as all the time we had was about the free hour sandwiched between end of school and the start of after-school lessons.
We got into the studio, brought out our little makeup purses that held nothing but a container of white talc powder, a fruity lip gloss and a small comb to rake our fade haircuts and eyebrows. Then the “village” photographer “arranged” us before taking the epic portrait of us in our blue & white school uniform. Next, we changed twice to have the other shots and it was a wrap. We had to put all of our faith in him, believing he gave us the best arrangements for the portraits.
Leaving the studio that day, all we could do was just wait patiently for about a week to see the results. The anticipation was exciting and at the same time nerve-wrecking. We no longer suffer such dilemma these days as we can readily preview and retake till we are satisfied. Fast forward, a week later, I was confronted with the “masterpieces” of the “village” photographer. My head was a bit wonky in one of the photos and my glare in the other could light up an attic but nonetheless, I loved them and treasured them hence they becoming permanent fixtures in my pencil-case wallet.
So you can understand how heartbroken I was when they got stolen along with the wallet. The thought of the robber discarding them in the trash after taking out the money made me sadder and angrier.
Damn you robber!
Even though over the years I have built a large collection of photo memoirs, I still wish I could get those stolen ones back!
Photos are beyond fantastic. They serve as a memorial, a reminder of life as it was before now. They help you remember where you are coming from, the amazing people and not-so-amazing people you’ve met. They remind you of the craziest and beautiful things you’ve seen, the celebrations you’ve been a part of and different places you’ve been to.
So there it is. I deeply treasure photos. I mean, if my mobile phone is running low on storage space and I need to purge it, several apps would have to make the cut first before I delete one of the several takes of the same scene in my photo gallery!
Lastly, before I conclude the writing challenge with this final assignment, I’d love to thank my childhood friend, secondary school classmate, college buddy and fellow blogger, Joy – The Design Bender for literally pushing me into this challenge. Also, I’d love to share a thing or two from my photo treasure trove…. Sorry girl but you know how we do it! ***evil grin***
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Writing 101: Day Twenty: The Things we Treasure
“For our final assignment, tell the tale of your most-prized possession. If you’re up for a twist, go long — experiment with longform and push yourself to write more than usual.”