Photos on the Wall

Cheyanne Makelki is just your average, run-of-the-mill, bubbly, lightly concussed SAMC rep. You might see a problem with that description. A mental trauma-type problem. She’s concussed. At this point, it’s nearly something of a personality trait for her.

“I surround myself with a lot of pictures,” she tells me. “Because, as you know, my memory isn’t the greatest.” Alright, so it’s not just the concussions. Everybody forgets, and pictures are meant to capture memories, are they not?

“I’ll take a picture, because I know I might not remember it,” she explains, “and this way I know that I’ve had good times in my life.”

My next question is clear: what are these photos of? It’s an eclectic sort, fitting for one so full of yenergy and personality: hikes with friends, pictures with family, graduation, scenery that she wanted to capture. It’s a catalogue of spontaneity, and this is best exemplified by the pictures of what Cheyanne calls “The Greatest Day of Her Life.”

The day started like this: Cheyanne and a bunch of her friends took a ride on her friend’s boat. On their voyage, they passed the island where many of them attend camp. While they couldn’t dock at the camp, they docked elsewhere on the island and, in bare feet and swimsuits, hiked to the top of mountain, at a pace much faster than other times when they had actual hiking gear. After hiking down, they got gourmet pizza and watched the sun set on the beach. Cheyanne reminisces, “It was a good day, just because of all the spontaneous events that happened.”

So, what do the photos say about Cheyanne Makelki? She’s quick to clarify: “It’s not the pictures that characterize, but the events. The events in my life that shaped me.” She cites a few other examples, like pictures of her in Fort Week last year (where she received one of her more recent concussions), and pictures that hold a closer place in her heart. “I have a picture of me and one of my friends the first time we hung out. We didn’t really know each other at the time, but now we’re like best friends.” I have heard it said that our photos are of the things we want to remember. It may be that few truly embody that as well as Cheyanne.