memories twice removed

I see what happens when a camera comes between me and the rest of the world. It's a filter. It composes, curates, and crops. I like that about it. It's focusing on what I want to, and disregarding the rest. I think that's one of the beauties of photography, of art, of life maybe. But I wonder if it's always been that way. I don't know who's porch this is. They are images Brando got from his grandmother a few years back. He doesn't recognize them. I've come back to them a lot, like I want to/need to figure them out. That great floral print. That stark light. Those windows. Seats enough for friends. I imagine beyond the frame. A house with mid century modern furniture, not trying hard but being just right. A neatly trimmed front lawn. Modest. Not everything but so close it counts. The American Dream?

Will the past always look better? Like they had something figured out that we are missing? Or is it all just the same, then & now, only a few decades and memories removed?