Monday, September 26, 2022

A Followup Note

Commenters have been giving me some pushback. Sssss! Fie on thee! Err, I mean, thank you!

My thought was that a photograph of something lost offers solace, comfort. Thus, having a photograph of a thing eases the path to a future without it; after all, you will still have the solace of the photo. This, I felt, might make it easier to do Modern/Progress things like moving to another city.

Upon receipt of the grossly unfair, that is to say insightful, comments, I gave this more of a think.

The trouble is that I'm not at all sure a photo does offer solace at all. Indeed, in many cases it troubles the mind, and we might be emotionally better off without the photo.

This, of course, does not mean we might not behave as if photos offer solace anyway, we might mistakenly believe that the photos will usefully stand in for the lost home, the abandoned job, the departed children. We might, despite the complication that photos actually offer, still believe in the idea that sending the children to college is easier for having photos of them to hand.

I don't really know. That photos do offer a pre-modern "return" mechanic is, I maintain, correct. What the effect of that is in the large though, I am uncertain.


  1. It appears that *some* photos, far from offering solace, require a trigger warning, or perhaps just a NSFW prelude (depends where you work, and what you do there, of course).

    I'm not being entirely facetious: a dear friend lost a daughter in tragic circumstances, and still has to curate certain images around his wife quite rigorously, ten years on.

    What will ease sending the children to college is the prospect of having the house to yourself, not lying awake until 3 am waiting for them to return home safely from clubbing, or having to eject unsuitable boyfriends from the house... But you've not been there yet... ;)


  2. "in many cases it troubles the mind, and we might be emotionally better off without the photo." I'm interested in that.