“But the biggest mistake I made is one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.”
I often find myself pushing onto the next thing. Dinner, bath, book, bed. Or now that my kids are a little older– homework, dinner, shower, bed. Seems like it’s my job to keep things running at an even pace, to make sure things get done. There’s a rhythm to this sort of living and all too often, we lock into it and POOF. Another day, week, month, gone. The truth is that mindful living takes some practice. Photography helps. But only if our minds are in the right place. It’s easy to fire off a hundred shots and think: Done. Moment sufficiently captured. The key is to shoot thoughtfully, mindfully. To know when to pick the camera up and when to put it down. To drink in the whole scene while you’re shooting, not just the visuals.
I’m not going to lie, friends. I’m guilty of mindless shooting. But I’m working on it, I am always working in it. When I shoot mindfully, the images I come away with feel like so much more than just images. I look at this photograph of my son Ezra and I remember everything about that day, that night. I remember how we laid on the trampoline, looked up at the sky and talked about the moon. I remember the way the evergreen trees looked, how the air smelled sweet like pine needles. I remember how our hair stood up on end from the trampoline’s static electricity, I remember the way he laughed. I remember how the light changed from gold to blue, how he grabbed my hand as we walked back inside. I remember the mexican we had for dinner that night, the smudge of salsa on his cheek. I look at this photograph and I remember everything.
Which photograph of yours captures a moment just the way it was? And when you look at it, how much do you remember? Please, do share an image and a few words with us today.