I have been collecting frames for the past two years or so. When I see a cheap or clearance frame I buy it and stash it away because framed photos make great gifts and because I’ve always wanted a home with treasured photos hung all around. I did that a little bit at my old house before we moved this summer but this past weekend was a photo marathon. I sorted through hundreds of photos, picking out my top favourites. I printed out about 30 of these and now they are hanging all over the place around the upstairs here at Rob’s.
Some are from our trip to Venice Beach a few years ago. We stayed in nearby Marina del Rey when we went to E3 in 2005. Hanging up the pictures of that and the Santa Monica pier at night bring it all back. There’s also a photo from Catalina Island near where we went snorkelling. That was a different trip — for E3 2006.
On another wall are photos from Vancouver, Pelee Island, and someplace in farm country between Windsor and Wasaga Beach. The trip to Vancouver was for NorthernVoice/Moosecamp 2007, Pelee Island was for beginning work in the archives there related to my history research project, and the farm is from the trip home from our two-family vacation this past summer.
In the kitchen there’s a picture of budding echinacea from a garden in Scarbourough where my dear friends Karen & Mitch live. There’s a picture of my grandparents’ Pelee farm that I have yet to hang.
Tucked in a collage frame is a small picture of me. Apple picking with two of my own children and a friend’s daughter, before my third baby was born. I am part of all of this too.
I’ve got one or two hanging frames left but I have some standing frames that I will probably adapt for hanging on the wall. It makes my heart sing to see all these wonderful things that I’ve done, all the wonderful places that I’ve been. It reminds me that I want more experiences like these in my life and that a goal of living is to do the things you enjoy.
It’s been a frustration of mine that so many digital photos sit on hard-drives, gathering virtual dust: unloved, unshared, un-experienced. Hanging the pictures on the walls opens conversations with friends and family about travel, adventure, people, other family, other friends, and all of our histories. It reflects who we are: the people that live here have identities and we can share that via what we choose to show on our walls.
A la Judith Butler, we communicate who we are through our representations of ourselves. I am more than a blank wall – I am Pelee Island, Vancouver, Venice; a boat, a barn, a bike. I am my children, my lover, my garden, my friends. I am me.