Archive of Borrowed Memories

We view the world through an aperture that narrows over time. When we’re small, as we wade into consciousness, our world is flooded with light. There’s a wonderful incoherence here, a messiness of color and pace. On occasion, the blur sharpens, branding slender branches of memory: the dance of hose water on a sun-speckled lawn, crimson spreading in the west, the ignition of porch lights. We teleport now, twilight in our childhood backyards, flashlights pinioned against our palms, eyes transfixed, trying to see the blood inside.

I’ve always had a gentle obsession with home movies. I try not to over think it, but then I do. Sure, there’s a sense of innocent voyeurism, a spy-game played out with stolen vacations and foreign living rooms, but the real kicks are embedded in a certain vulnerability, a mutual urge to store and recover moments, to forge paths with borrowed light. What we see here are the most tender of similarities, a series of moving patterns that reveal a colossal sameness, a neo-instinct to protect an instant, as a rabbit might hide away her kits, whimpering and scentless in a burrow.

Beyond ceremonial documentation, the red-button-ritual that accompanies extinguished birthday candles and afternoon pools, home movies become a sort of terminal cinema, a way of romancing the certainty of time. For once we adjust to the deep focus of adult eyes, a permanence is alchemized beyond the recorded image, a residue of tiny histories eternally recurring beyond the edge of every frame. As each second becomes independent in its simplicity, these human archives become anything but pedestrian. They are parables in 8mm and VHS, human imprints that echo on, ephemeral and kindly startling, like the shadow of an airplane leaping into a room.

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