So, I just finished watching what may be a new favorite movie of mine, My Winnipeg
, and it really got me thinking. The movie is this bizarre and awesome pseudo-documentary about a man, the filmmaker, trying to leave and disentangle himself from the blight that finds Winnipeg to be, but it is like a history of the city. The history, however, is strange and twisted and involve the homeless living in sky-riser top shantytowns, ancient underground rivers (and swimming pools), and horses who, while escaping a fire in the dead of winter, ran into the river only to be frozen with the expression of terror still etched on their heads protruding from the water.
At one point the filmmaker mentioned how eventually you miss the places from your past so much that in old photos you stop looking at the people and pay more attention to the backgrounds. It is a startlingly true observation. I know whenever I see pictures from my Grandma's old house in Chicago, I strain to remember the floors and shelves and knickknacks every little detail I can. My grandma sold the house to move into a high rise condo on Lake Shore Drive a few years before she died, and around the time she died we had heard word that the now sold house had been demolished. When I heard the news I spent night after night in bed in my mind slowly walking myself through the house, opening every door and exploring every room. The toughest part of the house was along the left side where there was a 3 doored storage shed and then the greenhouse.
I loved that house so much and as a kid I always wanted to live in it when I grew up. It was big and brown and had a large sweeping front yard that soared around the side of the house to the even larger backyard that bordered a wildlife preserve. There was always debate, apparently between my grandparents and the state as to how far back in the yard they could plant their flowers. But that always seemed a moot debate because deer were regularly wandering out into the yard. You would wake up in the morning and go into the sunroom, which was floor to ceiling windows, and step onto the cold tile floor and watch the deer walking around, eating the flowers and bushes.
The movie made me think of this because I know pictures of family members in that house exist, but I don't know if I actually value that stuff. When my parents die, will I really care to hang onto the photo albums my mom has been saving? What about the last 7-10 years, where there are hardly any photos, and even less that are printed anywhere. Should I really care. I don't know if I do, and I don't know if I am terrible for it. Great movie though.