Friday, August 7, 2009

Sci-Fi, I would like you to meet real life.

I was reminded of something close to home while watching the series finale of 'Battlestar Galactica'... even if the finale failed to make sense or failed to explain anything about the lives of its characters or failed to furnish a decent conclusion. Wait, do I sound a wee bit disgruntled? You must be imagining it.

Anyway, for those who are reading this blog post and not familiar with the show, all you need to know is this... humanity is faced with a very real threat of extinction. The only survivors of a nuclear blast are some 50,000 odd people scattered across space in battleships, and the real war is against the machines, who want revenge on their maker: the humans.

As with any war, lives are lost in trying to preserve the most of what is left. And within the main battleship, there is a corridor of walls. These walls start to overflow with pictures. Pictures of friends and families lost. Pictures alongside offerings of flowers and prayer beads. The walls transform into something powerful. They become a place for memories. For reflection. Prayer. They become a space for solace. And when it seems like the end is near, everyone's last thoughts are to rush to this space and salvage all that is remaining of the past. All the pictures, faces, smiles... those moments in time are claimed once more by the people left behind, now faced with the threat of death themselves. Because the pictures are all that is left of the past. And to lose them would be to truly be alone.

It reminded me of something I experienced when I first moved to the country. My husband and I arrived at LAX, and drove down to San Diego... on the same night that the fires started. This was a few years ago... and I have since realized that the fires seem to be a yearly occurrence... not that that predictability makes it alright. We reached home safe and sound... and the next day, started the cycle of phone calls to everyone that he knew in the city, just to make sure they were alright. One of his friends, 9 months pregnant and ready to pop, could see the fires approaching the hill she lived on from her backyard. She did not know where her doctor was because he had been evacuated from his home. And then she got the call saying it was their turn to evacuate their house... the fires just seemed too close for comfort. Later, I asked her what she grabbed when she left the house.

'Picture albums,' she answered. 'They were the one irreplaceable thing we had. All our childhood pictures, our wedding pictures, family pictures, the whole lot. And the parrot, of course."

She had a parrot.

She also grabbed her video camera and started filming the house. The spaces that she had filled up with her husband... the world they had created together. The baby's room they had painted themselves and decorated with matching colors.

And then she closed the door behind her.

The good news is that the fires didn't burn her house down. They kept their distance.
She eventually found her doctor, and they had to induce labor... but a wonderful baby boy entered the world in the midst of all this chaos... and both mother and father moved him to the room they had made for him. The pictures were restored to their rightful place at home. Life moved on as life does.


Hope said...

I think that photos certainly tell our stories. As do diaries/journals and other records. But photographs REALLY capture the mood of the moment.

Enjoyed reading some of your postings and will visit again. [It is a good thing you do . . . recording the stories of others . . .]

Seguin, Texas

Save Their Story Inc said...

Thanks for visiting, Hope! And I'm so glad you've enjoyed some of the posts on the blog. I took a peep at yours and absolutely loved the pictures you have up. Even though I live in Austin, your pictures told me a whole new story about the city I live in. And oh, you have an adorable granddaughter!


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