In 2004, my parents sold the Farm. I wondered what would happen to my connections to the place. Without a physical link, I was sure that I would forget it. And then eventually, I would no longer be able to remember or imagine it.
For eight years, I didn’t think about the farm and its stories. Photographs and scrapbooks collected from the farm and 20+ hours of video footage shot there between 2001 and 2004 languished in a box in my basement. Then during the summer of 2012, I revisited the farm footage, using it to create 6 brief digital videos about my dad’s farm stories. In crafting those videos, I began to remember the farm and the joyful spirit that it embodies. I realized that even without the physical space of the farm to return to, I could reconnect and stay connected through storytelling.
Since the fall of 2013, I’ve been working on this project, watching old footage, researching the Puotinen family and designing the master plan for this site. This process is continuing to help me to remember and not forget the Farm.
to remember and not forget
While serving similar and related purposes, remembering and not forgetting are not the same thing. In my efforts to reconnect and stay connected to the Farm, I need both.
remember: (ri-mem-ber) verb. 1. to recall that which has been forgotten or discarded and to reconnect through those recollections. 2. the act or process of becoming aware again of past stories, events, images, experiences, feelings. 3. involves ritual, repetition, creating and recreating stories, experiences, people anew.
not forget: (not fer-get) verb. 1. to never let go, to stay connected to that place, time, people, experience from which stories are born and lived. 2. to experience, not as that which was in the past, but that which is now.