| Interview by Ronnie |
'From my memory box' is a heartfelt series, where we interview creatives whom we admire and find out about a personal keepsake of theirs that has special meaning for them and their families. Today we invite Alexandria Nagel, a film photographer whose blog I have read for many years and who curates one of the most inspiring Pinterest boards I've ever seen, to share something precious from her memory box.
Tell us a little about you and your family.
There are so many hats that each of us wear. For me (in no particular order), I am a bibliophile, photo collector, postcard sender, cook, pianist, explorer, girlfriend, friend, daughter, sister, and auntie. After having spent many years traveling and living elsewhere, Seattle, Washington, is where I feel at home these days.
What role does memory keeping play in your life?
Memory keeping began at a young age when I was shown how to take a memory photograph. I would move my hands towards my face, pretending to have a camera, then quickly shut my eyes and say "Click!" With that one magic word, the moment would be imprinted inside me and, whenever desired, the memory could be conjured up. Years later, it was a natural progression to begin taking pictures using real cameras as another form of collecting memories. A photograph is like a storyteller, a memory keeper, or a poem that leaves room for interpretation. Photographs and memories are composed of how you view a particular experience. They can be sweet and something to hold onto. Sometimes they are what gives us strength or motivation to be brave. Other times, they are a lesson learnt or an interesting tale to share with another.
Tell us about your keepsake. Where do you keep it, and why is it precious to you?
My keepsake is a book of poetry titled The Oxford Book of American Verse edited by F O Matthiessen. The collection of poems belonged to my grandmother, Elta Mae, and was used while she attended university to become an English teacher. It contains a lovely combination of poets from all over. My grandmother had a voracious love for reading and the arts. Later in life, she became a poet herself. Having a tangible poetry keepsake often evokes memories for me, as it represents one of the things she loved deeply. More importantly, it is always a reminder of her.
Usually this book sits on my bedside table, or it can be found on a table in the living room. Each time I glance at the cover or open it randomly to read, I ponder how she too has read these poems. It makes me happy whenever I think of this...
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You can read the other interviews in this series here.