A field of brightness
Comes and goes like a bird

The truancy of memory

Portrichmond

Mitza's tour of her old neighborhood / Port Richmond, Philadelphia / March 2007

    “the truancy of memory”

I came across this wonderful phrase in reference to the book The Art of the American Snapshot, 1888-1978 (it was also an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art; view an online version here). In the book Sarah Kennel writes about photography in the 1920s and 30s: “Kodak began to stress use of the camera to counter the truancy of memory...”

My image, above, is not so much a snap-shot, rather it evokes the opposite of the “truant memories” for me. I have vivid memories -- snap-shots in my head -- of being in this neighborhood when I was very young. Cared for and watched over by my great-grandmother (Jelisava) and great-uncle. Memories of little bits and pieces of pictures and smells and sounds and feelings. Funny though, as I think about it, many of my memories are actually images of snap-shots from the old photo albums. My mother and her sister before I was born. Me in a stroller with my great uncle and brother in the park. The whole family dressed up and visiting on a holiday. I can flip through so many of them in my mind. Guess old George Eastman had it right.

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