|Memories of Trips Past|
Originally from the Latin word subverire, it means "to come to mind". It made its journey into the English language through Old French in a word which came to mean "to re-call". A far cry from the trinkets we bring back from our travels, a true souvenir is a recollection, a specific memory of experience.
As contemplative photographers we are able to collect our own, personalized souvenirs in the photographs we make on our travels. Photographs that don't merely say, "I was here and I saw this..." but "I experienced this...", "I was impressed by that...", "I was moved (changed, inspired, overwhelmed, etc.) by this..." They needn't be the "big" things either for true revelation is in the tiny details of a place...what most tourists over look.
Now, as you can see by this photograph of my sitting room mantle, I am not immune to bringing back objects from my travels...a ivory figure from China, a crystal Faberge egg from St. Petersburg, Russia. (You can also see the little leather scallop shell I use to carry my tokens which I mentioned yesterday.) Some of my favorite souvenirs, however, are little found objects I bring back...a snail shell from my first escargot in France and the twin pine cones from the front porch of Thomas Merton's hermitage. The ivory and crystal will be kept by my heirs after I'm gone I'm sure...the snail shell and the pine cones will most likely be thrown away.
As for my photographs, those same heirs will probably puzzle about why I have no pictures they can recognize of the places I traveled to...no Eiffel towers and no Red Square "postcards". Ah well, perhaps they will stumble onto this blog someday and then they'll know why....