I would have posted this last week but our holiday and poor Wi-Fi got in the way!
July was a month of ‘events’ and occurrences, rather than ‘normal’ life. The end of the school year, an art exhibition, my twin daughters’ birthday, going on holiday. All fun and exciting things, that I loved enjoying and celebrating.
Moment or photograph?
I notice so often at events, phones or cameras being brandished as some kind of worshiping ritual to a recording god. But what does it feel like when you video or photograph things through a small screen? Are you really there in the moment?
I like to take the odd photograph, although I don’t always manage the composition that I hope to achieve or the cooperation of the subjects! I have never owned a video camera. I have recorded about three films on my phone. Ever.
When I peer through the screen at what is happening beyond the lens, I feel a sense of distortion and removal from the event in question. It’s like putting on blinkers, you lose your peripheral vision, literally and metaphorically. And as the proud ‘owner’ of three small children taking photos can be yet another distraction from ‘the moment’.
Looking back through my Instagram feed I see that my photos are more from quieter times. When there is not so much going on, so that I can take myself from the moment just a little to record it. Mental pauses rather than the middle of the action.
So I haven’t always got a photo to express what I am grateful for. Because I was too busy doing whatever it was, or I deem the photos not ‘right’. And sometimes I take photos that I don’t want to share, or I don’t want to make a statement about something or I simply never get round to it, the moment passes.
I know that the mind can distort memories. Running through them can alter them depending on the emotions you feel. That can work both ways. For me Instagram gratitude has been a brilliant way of taking time to think about events positively, reframing them, so that what is left is a positive memory.
I am grateful for the times this month that I have been truly in the moment. Both photographed and not. For the enjoyment that I got from these times, when I relished the experience. I am grateful for the photos and the memories that are being curated through my gratitude practice.
And I am grateful for a present given to me this month from a lovely friend – some photo fridge magnets of an event we were both at with our girls. I can see them every day on my fridge, and remember our friendship and how proud I am of all my girls.
On holiday is a typical time for me to review life; somehow the temporary world allows a change in perspective. So I have decided I am also going to add in a goal related to this for the next month.
I have been reminded how disorganised my photographic records are. How I am always aiming to properly archive and display them. How I want to share memories with my girls. My goal for the next month is to create proper electronic archives of our digital photos, so I can do that.
I’ll tell you how I get on, as part of my gratitude journal next month (Hello accountability!). Wish me luck!