To capture a moment or to live in a moment?

matchymatchy

That’s me and T at the Seafood, Blues, & Jazz Festival here on the island.

No *real* pictures, because they wouldn’t let me bring my camera in. After fuming about that for a good ten minutes, I got over it and ultimately felt thankful for not having that distraction, though I obviously couldn’t resist a quick iPhone picture. I had planned to snap some pictures of the musicians, the grounds, and the seafood, to blog about it. The best laid plans… well, you know.

Instead, I reveled in the magnificence of the sunset over the river with live blues in the background, without the compulsion to capture it on film. Okay, so I did have the compulsion, but I was forced to let it go, and now I feel sure that I saw, felt, and appreciated more of the festival because of it.

Isn’t that a strange fact of our culture today? That ability and desire to record and share any and every moment of our lives? Don’t get me wrong, I love instagramming and pinning as much as the next girl, but I struggle with finding that balance between participating in the fun, fast-paced media frenzy of today and actually living in the moment, appreciating life in real-time. You know?

Marveling at the sunset for what it is: a fleeting, never-still, signal to the close of a day.

A camera can’t translate that reality; it can only represent it, or show a part of it.

Pictures can’t capture it all. Neither can words, of course. Because when we’re experiencing life as it happens, each of our senses contributes to each moment. I’ve noticed that if I’m focusing too much on what I’m going to write about something, or what to take a picture of, I end up missing out on other parts of the moment.

The wafting scent of funnel cake or the gentle sound of water lapping against the shore; the feeling of contentment from warm arms around me as I watch the setting sun quivering brightly on the water.

I think I’ll try leaving my camera at home on purpose next time.

Anyone else experience this tension? Do you have methods to step away from gadgets and technology and revel deeply in life as it happens?

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4 thoughts on “To capture a moment or to live in a moment?

  1. I agree! I often am at a concert or other event marveling at the people who spend the whole time with their hands up in the air capturing a video, while not being able to concentrate on the stage with their own eyes, or share a moment with their partner or friends with their own eye contact due to this. In addition, trying to enjoy an experience with everyone holding up devices and blocking your view is not exactly edifying.

  2. I absolutely feel this tension. I don’t really have any methods to avoid yet but you are not alone in this feeling. And what often happens is we try to record it or take pictures to relive it later but we never do. The struggle of 20-something living and documenting and the same time.

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