Saturday, May 29, 2010

Not So Super 8

For the last several years, we have been storing a big box containing an old home-movie projector and a bunch of reels of old Super-8 film that once belonged to Jerry's parents. I have always wanted to see what (or more accurately, who) was on those old reels, and he has been avoiding going through them, not certain if the memories would bring up emotions he'd rather not deal with right now.

Well, I guess enough time had gone by that he felt like he might be interested in seeing them.

Turns out, there wasn't too much to get emotional about. They were, almost all of them, blurry, dark, and boring. Certainly nothing worth converting to a DVD, or even capturing as a still shot.

Of course, that didn't stop me from doing my own low-tech screen capture of Jerry's dad, out of focus, with a big old piece of dust going across his shoulder and the edge of our headboard in the corner of the shot. (we projected the movies onto our bedroom wall.)

I came away from the experience with a headache from just trying to see the images and make some sense of them, like watching a dream on a movie reel.

A sobering thought: Everybody who was a kid in those movies is now middle-aged, or older. Everyone middle-aged in the movies is dead.

Jerry's dad coached girls' softball teams back in the day, so a few of the reels were of their games. Because those movies were shot outdoors in bright daylight (unlike most of the other movies which were shot indoors) they were the easiest to see. Neither Jerry nor I recognized any of the kids in those games, but in looking at the ballpark and surrounding neighborhood, I found my imagination wandering. If only I could insert myself into that scene. Into that time. Not the ballgame, necessarily. Just the neighborhood. Oh, to return to the time of my youth and just stroll through it and absorb it all. Savor it, because the first time around I squandered it.

Then, I realized something else. Until they invent time travel, all I can do is savor today, because it's all I have. And my life today will become the blurry and vague memories of tomorrow if I don't take the time to enjoy, reflect, remember. And maybe even if I do.

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