Thursday, June 01, 2006

Emotional Teeter Totter

In the past few weeks I have included some photos that I and other family members have taken. I have talked about my scanning my 35mm slides from over the years, as well as slides that my parents took, AND ones my Father In Law took.

Now you have to understand, that I'm the type of person that, when just sitting and thinking, usually unconsciously tries to balance something. A new pencil on it's flat end. A nickel. Not always, but generally I do this.

I guess I tend to do the same thing with my emotions. If I find myself getting angry or sad or whatever, I try to intellectually think about things and try to restore an emotional balance. Maybe that's just my engineering training coming into effect in my personal life, but hey, sometimes it really helps.

But lately I have been scanning old slides from my childhood, and the overall effect of seeing Mom and Dad so young (my Dad passed away in 1994, at 60); to see my Big Brother as a little boy (he passed away in 2001, at 41), has, frankly been hard to deal with emotionally.

The trusty ol' rationalization of things falls WAY short of dealing with the emotions dredged up by seeing loved ones at a young age.

As an engineer I would postulate that: Regret + Memories = Melancholy

I think it may be that, seeing someone who has passed away, so young and vibrant in photos, makes me long for them to be back and be able to fully live up to the potential we all began life with.

And to go back to my teeter totter analogy, this is an equation that is out of balance. There's a fat kid on one end and a skinny kid on the other. The skinny kid is at the mercy of the big, fat kid on a teeter totter.

So, that's what I'm dealing with right now.

As a Christian, I SO, SO, SO, do realize how blessed I've been all of my life; and I SO, SO, SO, do realize just how blessed I am right now. But spending the time necessary with each and every slide, to scan, and then try to correct the colors and such in the photo once it's on the computer is resulting in some pretty heavy feelings.

The strange thing is, that some of the slides are faded, and/or the colors shifted. Those slides are easier to look at because the faded-ness of them bypasses my emotions and lets me think of it as just some old picture.

But Photoshop Elements is quite an amazing program. I have learned some killer techniques that allow me to 'bring back' the original color of faded and color shifted slides. The effect on the before-and-after of the slide is absolutely startling, but then, when I see loved ones who have passed away, frozen in time, and in now-true colors, as if the photo was taken yesterday... Well, it's not always easy to deal with.

I'm not complaining. I'm just trying to tell you something I'm going through right now and the associated thought processes they engender in me.

It's all really strange. Like cooking something that is a mixture of things you love, but aren't sure if you like the result or not. Heck, that makes no sense.

I guess, over all, the process of scanning and archiving all of these old slides and seeing all the loved ones and pets and yes, even household items like childhood toys and stuff, are really working a number on me, emotionally.

Stranger still, is, I CANNOT WAIT each day to get home and do a few more.

I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment.

But I AM blessed, and I have proof of a sort in all these pictures.

(Sorry folks, blogger won't let me upload photos the past two days.)

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