8mm Memories by Ron Turner
1962: A young father uses the latest consumer technology to film his toddler playing a toy guitar. He looks through the viewfinder with eyes of love. The boy, feeling his father’s love, responds with enthusiasm as he glows under the bright movie lights.
1982: Twenty years later, the father views this 8mm film on the silver screen in his basement. He looks at the images of his son with love. He positions the VHS video camcorder to convert the images to a modern electronic format.
Then, a tear comes to his eye. He silently reflects on his son, his own role as a father, and their lives over the past two decades. He is filled with emotion as he remembers the young father standing behind that 8 mm camera, and the little boy with the toy guitar.
He can’t put it into words, but as he privately allows the tears to flow down his face, safely in the basement where his wife won’t see, his heart is filled with his own goodness and his love for his son and his own younger self.
2012: Fast-forward thirty more years. The son takes on the project of converting family videos to digital. He buys a Sony DVD/VHS device designed for this purpose, and spends the better part of a month shuffling videotape and blank DVDs through the box – using a Sharpie to write descriptions on the plastic, and using a box of Kleenex to deal with the emotional fallout of the project.
He comes across this particular footage. The only sound is the whirring of a projector in a dark room. Unseen is the man operating the projector and the implied camcorder trained on the screen. The man’s handwriting is reflected on the VHS label. His love for his son and his feelings about his life are present in every pixel of every image.
That same love was present in 2012 in Texas when the son reviewed those images – somewhat degraded after the conversion, but retaining all of their power and intensity. He felt his father’s love from 1962, and from 1982. Mind you, even though the father had passed away in the intervening years, that love was present in his son’s heart in 2012.
It is the same love present in 1962 felt both by the father towards his son and by the son towards his father. It was present in 1982 when that father revisited the 8mm film in a basement in Detroit – even though the son was far away in California.
Never mind matter and energy; it is love that can neither be created nor destroyed. Love transcends time and space and life and death. Love is eternal.
photo courtesy bs wise; video ron turner
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