These memories are not mine so I’m not sure why I am feeling this pain in my heart. I’m re-digitizing a lot of slides from photos my dad took of his youth, his army days, and early days with my mother. Seeing those photos, I think I am mourning my parents’ youth for them—when they first met and life was exciting. And historic. My dad was adventuring in an old Japan that doesn’t exist anymore, and my mother looks so young and preciously beautiful. Her childhood in poverty and war was about to be left behind.
A month or so ago, I finished converting all the slides, identifying and organizing them. I was originally very happy with the Wolverine F2D Titan slide converter, happy to find anything that would quickly convert the boxfuls of slides to high resolution .jpg images. I did my best on all the slides with basic photo editing. Some of these photos I really loved but could not fix very well, and most of the images still retained a yellowy hue or even a pinkish hue instead from my fixing attempts. Recently I had the (literally) bright idea to convert the slides while sitting in my back porch, in normal daylight instead of under the indoor yellow-hued lighting in my dining room. Ta-dah! Some slides would just never turn out good, but many others lost their yellowy hues. Live and learn.
But what’s with this twinge in my heart looking at old photos of my parents—it’s like I deeply miss them, but the “them” in that time of history when I wasn’t even born yet. Their images, these ghosts of the past, are reaching through time and making me feel they are a part of my life history. And well, they are! So this is how I will explain my weird, painful nostalgia for their old days. Somehow I was there.