The Beauty of Forgetting

I was on Google Photos today, looking at all these old photos from the past. Old friends, old loves, etc — and it was kind of a strange experience.

Here are all these people I haven’t thought about in years, or perhaps even a decade — but with unlimited free cloud storage for photos/videos— social media and these tools resurface old memories from the past.

Now my question is this:

Is this feeling of nostalgia bad? Does thinking of the past (or resurfacing it) hold us back?

I think so.

Forget in order to create anew

I love the notion of “tabula rasa” or the clean slate/blank slate philosophy. The idea that everyday we die, and are born anew.

How do we create new things?

I personally think that this “creative destruction” notion holds true:

In order to create new things, we must destroy the things from the past.

And perhaps in life — we must also forget/destroy the past in order to live, create, and dream anew!

Is the purpose of photography to capture memories, or to create artwork?

Another peculiar question:

Is photography a tool for memory recollection, or for art creation?

Obviously photography can serve multiple purposes — but I’m starting to think to myself:

What if photography could be used as a tool to forget, in order for us to move on with our lives?

Nassim Taleb has a nice quote that goes along like, “Some people write to remember, I write to forget”.

What if photography could be used as a tool of forgetting?

Similarly, I like to write to empty my mind. I wonder if photography should be the same? Photograph to digest life experiences, in order to move on. Which means this:

Photography shouldn’t hold us prisoner as stuck in the past. Perhaps photos are better served to help us think more about the future, and our future aims!

Forget in order to create anew, and for you to become anew!


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