I am having a weird experience at the moment. My youngest son was here at the weekend, installing a new computer for me, and he chose the My Pictures folder for my screen saver. Previously I had chosen one particular folder with some sort of homogeneous content, but I decided to leave it as it was for a while.
I am finding that the effect of a random selection from my unweeded and badly organised picture files is most strange, including as they do not only photographs and graphics, but also images of pages from census records, scans of family letters and other documents, maps, medical diagrams, and pictures on almost any subject culled from the web for my blog.
Every now and then I receive quite a shock, when, for example, a treasured nude picture of my beautiful mother on her honeymoon pops up after some crude cartoon that I may have once thought worth saving .
But the greatest impact of this passing parade is of the scenes from my own life. As I am lucky enough to have lots of photos taken by my parents, as well as all my own, there is a mind-boggling array of events and experiences passing before my eyes in quick succession. If I watch for more than a few moments, I feel as though my grip on reality will loosen, and my mind begin to fragment. Have I really lived all that? Even my 80 years do not seem enough.
The computer slideshow is rather like stepping on a treadmill which is going faster than you can run. Perhaps it is better to allow the brain to pass one's life in review at its own speed. But if, as they say, your whole life passes before you in the moment before death, I am going to take a very long moment to die!