My thoughts have been on photography lately, on lenses and camera bodies, on techniques and workflows. Yesterday I watched an episode of The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon viewed an old VHS tape of his father giving a pep talk to his high school football team and how that inspired him to keep going. I had an old flip phone that didn’t have a camera when my father died, and I picked up my iPhone and wondered how different life would be if I owned a device like that when he lived. I don’t have any video of my dad, and I’ve forgotten what he sounded like. Sometimes I have dreams of him where I hear his voice, but then I wake up and remember he’s gone.

Capturing the world and etching it all in words and photos and videos and sound has been my driving focus for so long that I wonder now how much of it was driven by the fear of forgetting than the act of creation. My dad didn’t leave much behind when he passed, and I remember how sad that made me feel when I went through his things with my family and tossed most of it away. How much of my life is hidden behind passwords and composed of 1s and 0s? What, if anything, will I leave behind when I pass?

I’ve been alone for so long that I fear my legacy will be the same as my father’s: a few things my family will trash and a memory that will fade away quickly.