According to George Clooney’s parents, their home is called ‘the house of too many pictures’ by the rest of the family. David Letterman visited there during his special with George and, yes indeed, there are pictures on the walls, on shelves and tables and…on the ceiling(s) of at least a room or two. These photos are not of their famous kid, in fact there are few of George, but rather of the whole family’s active lives and their friends and the wide world through which they traveled. Nick, George’s father, is a journalist so it makes sense that the entire globe is well-represented on these walls and ceilings.
Most of us are picture-takers of puppies and babies, of special occasions and scenic vacations; some of us take it further when we’re traveling, and even call ourselves photographers. We snap and click away, view and/or download the results and then…. We share those tiny smart phone images with our generally-unappreciative best friends, we email them to Grandma or, in order to cherish them forever, we file them on our laptops or in the Cloud. And sometimes we even look at them again.
MY photos are much too interesting to live lonely Cloud lives…so, like the Clooneys, I’m putting them on display. I started my ancestor wall a few years ago, but soon ran out of restoration-worthy photos of all those old Norwegians (and a Swede or two.) Meanwhile I was visiting the world’s most interesting highways and byways, railways and sea lanes, and taking a few thousand photos, even occasionally a brilliant, breathtaking, possibly unique view of here or there. How nice it would be, I often thought, to have my distinctive images, my significant memories of times and places, easily accessible to not only my mind’s eye but also to my actual squinty allergy-reddened blue eye. What to do?
The solution.Walls. They surround me with only a tasteful artwork or two—that one good piece by my favorite artist, that fascinatingly ugly mask from a Haitian road trip. But there’s so much more space on them. White space. Truthfully, I’ve never been a fan of white space in brochures, on websites…or on walls. Why not give those special pieces their own space in a quiet bedroom and cover the kitchen/dining/living room walls (actually all one big room but that’s apartment life for you) with my photos, those special photos from the 110 or so countries I’ve visited.
The Clooneys and I have a lot in common; my sons are roughly as good-looking as George, although unfortunately they did not listen to me when I told them to invest in tequila. And my ‘abode of too-many pictures’ will be just as interestingly cluttered with the fine memories of lives lived as their house. Not sure about the ceilings yet.
**In case you are curious, I scan old photos and email the older and the newer digital ones to Carr Imaging, where my friends Pat and Barbara brighten them up a bit or do more serious restoration for the oldest snapshots, and then print and mount them. Granddaughter Patricia, the artist in the family, comes over to place them on the walls. Voila! My life…being lived…so far.