why do we document things? writing, filming, recording. the first thought i had was that we don't want to lose our thoughts. we don't want to forget the moments in our lives that are repeatedly fleeting. but something seems wrong to me in that. maybe wrong is too harsh a word. more like, weak.
on a day like today i was reminded of how complicated we make things by trying to make them simple. my car broke down and i didn't have enough money to take it to get fixed. so my only alternative was to buy the part and fix it myself. now, the options (had i the money) were pretty endless should i have not done it myself. mechanics are everywhere. and so are so many other things. we have phones that fit in our pocket that allow us endless connectivity and information. we have stores that always have what we need. there is a gas station on every corner. but in our search for making life simpler, we've cluttered it. and so in our cluttered mess we're constantly entertained and bombarded with something else to catch our attention. this gives way to forgetfulness. so what to do? document it. we can't sit long enough to enjoy what just happened because we're onto the next thing, but we still recognize the beauty of it, so we take a picture. the problem is, the picture is never as good as the moment. our facebook pages are full of notes and comments and pictures to remind us of how great our lives are; and thank God, because if they weren't, we surely would have forgotten about that sunset in North Carolina. or the wet sand drinking our feet in San Diego. and i'm not be facetious either. we honestly would forget those amazing moments in our lives.
how dare we.
i'm not proposing we stop documenting our lives. for God's sake, i'm writing a blog right now. i'm just proposing we slow down a little and actually take in whats going on around us. we don't need to fill our days with things and adventures until the seams burst. trust me, our children will have plenty to learn from if we don't. our grandparents didn't have facebook, or digital cameras. hearing a story from my grandpa is worth 100 times more than a digital photo album i can show my grandkids. his voice in the story telling, his eyes lighting up at certain points. these are what makes the story rich. and he only has the ability to tell the stories because he soaked himself in it when they happened. we're dipping our feet in the waters of our stories instead of jumping in.
keep writing about the funny looking lady ahead of you in line. keep photographing the picnic on Saturday. just don't be so distracted that your only memories of your life are on a 10MB flash drive. life is certainly fleeting, not to mention, each moment in them, but we don't have to accelerate the process. watch the clouds for an hour or two without worrying about picking up your dry cleaning. sit at the pub with your best friends for longer than an hour without planning the next move. just be.