In the process of going through old photos and clearing out the masses of virtual junk that I have collected, I am reminded both of how much I prefer a life uncluttered and how much I enjoy reliving the past.
On the topic of de-cluttering, there was a time when this referred to clearing clothes out of closets, emptying the junk drawer that collects unrecognizable objects that we’re sure we’ll need someday, selling the collection of hobbits or beanie babies, and donating excess household goods.
For us, we started the process of reducing things several years ago. But having focused for so long on getting rid of physical items, I completely ignored the virtual ones. My main problem, as you might guess, is photos. As long as all my images fit on the hardware I already owned, I don’t think of it as clutter.
But having grown my capacity to over 7 TB between old devices, new devices, backup devices, and spare devices, I’m thinking it’s time to start eliminating the multiple copies of the same photo, the really bad images, the slightly different angles of the same thing, the series of 300 shots of the same person making different facial expressions–in short, the crap.
Having cleared out this virtual junk, I find the important memories and the images I’m almost proud of suddenly jumping out at me. Just as clearing out the 4 potato mashers, the endless collection of useless appliances (useless to me since I don’t cook), and the endless odds and ends that filled our kitchen cabinets made the kitchen a place I didn’t mind hanging out in (because I could suddenly, for example, find the corkscrew when I brought home a bottle of wine), I find myself suddenly having a hard time pulling away from perusing the past.
When I stumble upon photos from one of my favorite places, Jasper, Alberta, I decide to share a few from our hike near Pyramid Lake in December of 2009.
Jasper National Park is located in what I used to think was Northern Canada–until I looked at map. It is North of Banff, but, it turns out that’s not even far enough North to be Northern Alberta, let alone Northern Canada.
Given that the town of Jasper is located within Jasper National Park, which encompasses a pretty big chunk of the Canadian Rockies, it was far enough North (or perhaps just far enough in altitude) that the high temperature those two weeks of December was -15 degrees Fahrenheit.
When we hiked around Pyramid Lake, we discovered something I’d only read about–hoar frost. I never actually knew what hoar frost was until after I showed some of these shots to a friend. If Pat wouldn’t have been with me, I probably would have frozen to death because I was so fascinated with the hoar frost, I would undoubtedly have forgotten to return until it was too dark to see.
I don’t consider these images clutter.