Conversations in Past Tense

Conversations in past tense.

             My father, Richard W. Myers, was the person who taught me how to use a camera. The Pentax he gave me when I was 12 was the camera he used to take most of these photographs.   In 2011 a MRI revealed a tennis ball sized tumor at the center of his brain. The resulting surgery left him with a permanently damaged short-term memory and the inability to care for himself.

           I had already begun to archive his old negatives and slides; images no one had seen since long before I was born, and they began to serve as a point of connection for my father and me since I could not be with him.  Because the brain is such an elastic and regenerative organ I wondered if these images of his past could be helpful to him in rebuilding the ability to form memories. I printed them out and sent them to him.  Whenever I go to visit I ask him to get them out and we talk about each photograph. Though he doesn’t remember that we’ve done it before his answers are usually the same.  I have recorded the first response to some of these images.