The life that goes out in love to all is the life that is full, and rich,
and continually expanding into beauty and power.
Ralph Waldo Trine
When I go to an auction I never know what I shall see, who I shall meet or for that matter how I will feel when I see the things that will be selling. I have to admit my feelings about auctions have changed since having to go through one myself. I think of these auctions as in many things in our lives that you will always have different ways that people will view the same situation. One view, two or more versions, it is similar to showing someone a photo or a painting knowing each person comes away with a very different idea or way of seeing it and interpreting its meaning.
This particular auction started like many others, I always understand it will be a sad emotional day for some but I also know it is something that needs to be dealt with and you do appreciate the people that turn up and will be bidding for these things. I usually walk around and look at the things for sale, most times I notice someone that looks like they are viewing the auction in that different way than the others who have gathered. I guess I would say there is sadness in their eyes.
I noticed a younger gentleman with the same look in his eyes as I had noticed in my own reflection in a mirror the day we sold my families things. I introduced myself to this very nice gentleman and explained why I had a camera around my neck. I assured him I would not take any photos of the items up for sale unless he wanted me to and I promised I would send him copies. I do understand at the time you may not even think of it but since that auction day of my families things I now wished I had, or someone had taken photos of some of the items so I would have them. Since I had no idea where the items would possibly be going and would probably never see some things again, it would have been nice to have a photo now.
He graciously gave his permission and I went on my way, I do not ask too many questions about whom and why they were selling but I did know it was an estate sale. I figured if he wanted to share that information, he would have shared it. I took photos of things that interested me and things I thought might interest the family. I was keeping my own emotions in check because there was a nice barn and some horses on the property so I took lots of photos of those not really knowing if they belonged to the estate or not. Photographers gravitate to what they are interested in most times and the donkey’s shenanigans made me laugh, easing my feelings of familiarity in this kind of situation.
There was a table with a variety of things on it and I walked over when I seen a beautiful collection of old crocks and jugs, I took some photos because I thought they had a history with some memories attached. To the left of the crocks sitting on a table was a fishing tackle box full of old lures. I felt my heart stop and I had to catch my breath, I found myself stepping back in time and seeing my own father’s fishing tackle the day of our sale sitting on a similar table and surrounded by other items holding those wonderful stories and memories. Those same feelings that I felt that day were now bubbling within me and I have to say it was difficult. I debated whether I should take a couple of photos of this tackle box for the family. One item, with two very different ways of looking at how to handle the emotions attached to it.
On one hand there were all those wonderful memories attached that you never wanted to forget, but on the other hand on that very day and seeing it sitting on a table for the last time and knowing it was going to be sold was something you were not sure you wanted to remember. I took the photo. I truly wished I had taken the photos of my Dad’s before they were gone. Oh that was a tough one I have to admit. Sometimes all it takes is an overheard conversation to make you see the situation differently, making it easier.
There was an older man standing beside me at this auction while I was standing there with those bubbling emotions while wrestling with the decision. He picked up one of the lures and showed it to his I am assuming grandson, he explained what kind of fish it was used for, and the grandson being about six or seven was very excited, I could see they were interested in bidding on it. That triggered a memory of my own about a man who bought some of my Dad’s fishing tackle boxes. I had overheard him telling a man sitting beside him the day of our auction that he was looking forward to taking his grandchildren out in his boat and teaching them the fine art of fishing. I also remember how that image created in my head made me feel extremely happy and knowing that is exactly what they were for. I knew how happy my Dad would have been in knowing that they were going to be loved and cherished by someone. Dad had taught every one of us kids how to fish, and those memories will never be forgotten.
One fishing tackle box, two points of view or divided emotions. Memories could now be created by a new family but at the same time those old memories of that old box of lures would remain with the original family. That is when and why I took the photo.
Do you still remember the photo at the very top of this post? I can safely assume some of you would have noticed the old faded red shed first, some of you noticed the clouds or possibly the tree or maybe even the lovely framed mirror itself first. Different ways of looking at things will always be what makes this world go round and life is all about the possibilities and the way we choose to deal with them. Those choices are ultimately up to our selves.
I overheard something the other day that summed it up for me. If you hold so tight to all those old memories and never loosen your grip on them you may be taking a huge risk of not having enough strength or room to grab hold of any new ones. I think I will grab hold of that way of thinking, it makes sense to me.
Thank you to this loving family I do hope those photos will give you some comfort, in time.