Sunday, July 09, 2006

you must remember this

I'm fascinated by memory -- by how a room full of people will almost certainly remember the same series of events as something quite different and distinct from everyone else in that room. Not necessarily the sequence of what occurred – but the whys behind it all.

In 1964 my folks were married at St Frances Solano in my mother’s home town of Sonoma, California. A (silent) film was made of the ceremony and the reception at her parents' home afterwards. It's an extraordinary family artifact -- not only for the event that it captured, but for the foil it provides to everyone's memory of the event.

It's also bittersweet because their marriage only lasted 7 years.

Some time ago I taped interviews with many of my family members who were there, and planned to make a short video that would intercut their reminiscences with footage from the event. That project was interrupted by the end of my own marriage -- another experience where memories collided and failed to reconcile.

Time has passed, life has settled, I gave marriage a go again, and I'm thinking about getting back to the video project too.

In the meantime here's a snippet that never fails to make me smile, mostly because in the middle of this event -- where the two folks getting themselves married seem overwhelmed and out of their depth -- there's this brilliantly cool oasis of calm where a jazz trio from San Francisco does their thing.

I’m also pretty sure it was the one thing in that whole damn wedding in which the groom, my father, was allowed any input at all.


litwit said...

amazing -- can't wait to see the final project...

opiliones said...

very cool.

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