BLOG POST:Capturing a Moment Rather than Creating a Moment.
Updated: Mar 16, 2021
My mom has a wall of family photographs in her hallway. I was looking at them the other day and it struck me how few people were actually looking at the camera. No one was posing. As a matter fact, for the most part, the pictures were mostly of people caught looking at each other.
There were no filters, no duck lips, no air brushing. The snapshots were so genuine, they struck me as a type of magic. Actual moments, captured in time.
I realized that once-upon-a-time, picture taking was about stealing and preserving a moment, rather than creating one.
Maybe it was because the pictures were taken before social media, in a time that was more about "doing" rather than "showing". Maybe It was due to the time lapse between taking a picture and getting it developed, or perhaps it had to do with the cost of film, but the photographING wasn't the event. It was something that went on almost unnoticed in the background..
It got me thinking about how often we try to create a moment, rather than experience it.
I remember working in an office many years ago in a cube next to a girl who was getting married. Each day for almost a year, I overheard her loud and frustrated conversations, about flowers, the dress, venues, and the ring.
By the time her wedding arrived, I knew all about the color scheme (pink and violet), contingency plans in case of rain (it was an indoor/outdoor space), and her cream, lace dress, cut on a bias. I never knew her fiancé's name.
I wondered if 10 months of stress and angst is what it took to create one "perfect" day.
We all like to plan and look ahead, and I don't necessarily see anything intrinsically wrong with that. I think we get into trouble when the planning becomes more of an event than the event itself.
I also think too much planning creates a pre-conceived idea of how we think things should go, and when reality deviates from that perfect plan, we feel a loss of control and an unwillingness to appreciate things just as they are.
While we once stole a moment in time, we now rob ourselves all too often, of the present moment.
If you have faith and trust, as I'm starting to, you start to realize perfection rarely looks how we think it should. Perhaps the perfection is in the unfolding, in the messiness, the unpredictability and in the lessons in it all.