Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Some Moments Were Made Simply To Be Lived

  One of my favorite recent movies is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty with Ben Stiller. I love that movie. It is so delightfully random and hilarious, and it has a good story to-boot.
But the one part that always frustrates me (minor spoiler alert) is when the photographer, Sean O’Connell, finally sees the snow leopard while atop the Himalayas – and he doesn’t take the picture! Every time I watch that movie, I say to myself (or the person I’m watching it with), “Why doesn’t he just snap a picture real quick, and then enjoy the moment? That’s what I would have done.”
While I still think I probably would have taken the picture, I can understand why he didn’t. It’s like the song 3x5s by John Mayer: I didn’t have a camera by my side this time // Hoping I would see the world through both my eyes. Some moments are meant to be enjoyed without the distraction of a camera.
Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking pictures. I love taking pictures; I think that photography, the art of capturing images and memories, conveying thought and emotion, is a beautiful thing that we should take advantage of and enjoy.
But I also think that we need to learn to recognize that there are some moments that can’t – and shouldn’t – be captured.
Some moments were meant to simply be lived.
Perhaps it’s just me, but I know that I can be somewhat obsessive about capturing memories. I’m always taking pictures or videos, or writing in my journal, in an effort to capture each moment and the thoughts and feelings therein. I crave the memories. But sometimes, I find that I am spending more effort investing in the future memory than I am in enjoying the here and now. And I don’t feel like that should be the case.
I’ll say again that I don’t think there is anything wrong with taking pictures. I have thousands of photos and hundreds of videos on my computer (about 500GB), and I am immensely grateful to have them. By all means, pull out your camera and phone and take photos on a hike, take a selfie with your friends when you go out for ice cream - take pictures of whatever, whenever you want. The ability to capture images in such a way is a gift, and most certainly one that we should take advantage of.
My only caution is this: Don’t let yourself get so caught up in the future that you forget to enjoy the present. I don’t know how else to put it into words, but if you’re like me, then I think you know what I’m saying. Don’t always be so quick to expend your energy to capture a particular moment. Sometimes, you just need to simply live; just admire the snow leopard from a distance and don’t worry so much about capturing its beauty. Perhaps there is a reason that God gave this particular moment to you to enjoy.
        Anyway... just some food for thought.
And when you do feel it’s appropriate to take a photo or video... for heaven’s sake, don’t always feel the need to post it on social media.
But that’s another post for another time. ;)