On the basis of taking a photo, or looking back on a photo, it is a moment of time frozen. Even though it’s on paper, or your computer or phone, it seems alive and is also part of our present “now”. This is also like music from our past. In hearing a song from the past, you travel to the memory and apply it to the now in a reflective process. Memories and feelings are not communicated with words in a direct way but instead in a conscious way with heart and mind, sometimes a difficult process. In working in a therapeutic direction, the possibilities to re-frame that experience with caution, function and purpose is a possible way to heal and move through difficult emotional work including grief.
In working with a source of interest to motivate us through suffering or challenges, we can create our own resilience which can facilitate growth in others. Resilience is a place where more than ever we need resources to reach for. Because of the COVID-19 isolation process, and now also as Nova Scotian’s with the horrific events around the shooting, finding tangible tools is key to positive mental health. These events have left us looking for the ways we can help community but also reflect in our own thoughts.
In looking through old photos, especially with others, keep in mind you will all have different view. It might help to ask them what the image reminds them of. If you could change anything about the image, what would it be? What is missing from the image? Another way people are working through their own thoughts may be in making collages and videos that are set to music. Adding another layer of emotion in the soundtrack can create a deeper sense and awareness of feeling.
“Photographs open door into the past, but they also allow a look into the future”. – Sally Mann
Let’s continue to bring kindness and love to our families, neighbors and community as we head toward and transition to normalcy and positive days ahead.