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The other day my sister gave me a big green box filled with photos and negatives I had left at hers when I moved over to Ireland many, many years ago.  Once upon a time the box had been organised and sorted but now it was a jumble of places and people.

So yesterday I took the time to sort through the photos. I didn’t want to keep them all so I decided to only keep those that fit into all of three categories:

  • I could remember the name of the person(s) /place
  • the image was not blurred or otherwise unpleasing
  • I thought I would look at it again

I was amazed how many photos landed on the ‘to-throw-out’ pile. Many were because I really didn’t remember the name of the people in them, faces of people I spent short amounts of time with but who had dropped out of my life, or I out of theirs. Even more of the photos where of places that I couldn’t quite identify so out they went too. And then of course there were lots of photos that where just not great, too light, to dark, blurred, off center or ‘what was I thinking’ bad.

The third time I went through the photos I sorted out all of the ones I knew I would never look at again, really how many photos do I need of the same thing? So two out of three went into the bin. After all I was keeping most of the negatives (although a good few of unidentifiable blobs did have to go too) so I can always reproduce if need be.

After I had sorted through my past a small stack of photos and an envelope filled with negatives was left and somehow it felt like I had spring cleaned my memories, freeing up space for new ones, good, forgettable and maybe even blurred.