I wrote this on Christmas Day, 1999, but redid it on November 19th and 20th, 2013 in Lanikai, to reflect the deeper reality of what has happened to my photographs overtime.  

I was doing a book of photos of the family back in Nantucket from 1979 to 1987, and noticed that over half of my slides have become blackened with age or mold, camera skin developing splotches and radiation burns superimposed on what should have been our immortal youth.  

It isn’t just that mold darkens or shadows our mementoes, our skins, our slides, our planet, our memory, but what I wrote (and photograph) to try to preserve the brighter world, and have failed miserably.  Not that such worlds didn’t exist, but that even in the driest basement in the dry mountains time has caught up with technology.  

Not just slides fading and mold growing, but even the poem I wrote about it was darkened by computer writing programs orphaned by Apple’s new systems.  This has put the computer translation programs out of business in turn.  If it isn’t that, it’s new ports, which don’t support older hard drives, or the drives themselves, which freeze up unless they are run at least occasionally.  

So all things conspire against memory, even the seemingly solid scientific ins and outs of digital technology, as fragile as any quill pen.  

Not all our lives turn out as bright as our photo albums might suggest.  I hope that we can offer poems as  substitutes.  Or take digital photos.