John & Anne Wiley


Memory vs Memento

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Inner World,Nature,People,Random — John @ 22:10

I don’t recall any time that our memento from a flying trip matches the power of our memory. Most often the mementos that come closest are the photos, and sometimes our diary or blog entries from the day. Zubair said in email today that he’d searched the blog for references to the 2007 flight that stands out among our most powerful memories. The reason he didn’t find any is that back then Anne was sometimes uncomfortable with the windows open while we were flying, and we had only a low-resolution snapshot camera. Thanks to his reminder though, I reviewed the pix and found this one that came out ok.

0292 Monument Valley

0292 Monument Valley

This pic is actually good enough that I’m putting a larger version on my Photo Page. Monument Valley is among our absolute top bucket list places for a return flight with open windows and Nikon SLR (or better) camera. The topic actually came up because I was coaxing Zubair to fly and meet us there with his family. Anyway, here’s another pic that better reflects what we saw while also demonstrating the drawbacks of camera and closed windows.

0290 Relective Memory

0290 Relective Memory

You can see the interior of Rusty (the plane we flew back then) reflected on the inside of the closed window at the right, and the camera’s inability to capture detail or the “dynamic range” of rocks in shadow against bright background. What I most see reflected here though, is the powerful emotional experience of wandering at will amid these towering stone sculptures. Many of the “monuments” evoke our ancestors who themselves wandered here, now represented as individuals standing alone, in silent families, and in small quietly mournful tribes. I wish these mementos could better convey the memories of flying there, a collection of moments outside of time.


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