Walking and driving through Erie, I saw gorgeous houses that were straight out of a novel, swing sets engulfed in snow, leaves of a million colours lining the way to the house and all of it I can describe only with words. I have nothing to show. While making permanent records of fleeting moments, we forget to relish the present. I made it a point to not take my phone out. Literally everyone I knew was sleeping when I was awake. I wasn't expecting a call. Plus, my husband was always around and his phone was always reachable. Our evening walks by the lake were simply to take in as much as we could and enjoy the moment. It never struck either of us as a temporary thing, we didn't bother keeping a record.
I took a lot of pictures on the trips we took, never of the two of us but of the places we had gone to see. Minus a few token pictures here and there, I have no pictures of myself or him. Most pictures you see on the blog are taken by my photographer husband who is a shutterbug to the core and engineer on the side. But even he couldn't bring himself to take endless pictures, perhaps because it was becoming too much of an overdose to document everything. The purposelessness of taking pictures, the pictures that would get lost for eternity was unappealing.
I have stunning pictures from the length and breadth of the country and each picture more beautiful than the other, some are silly, while some are art (that's the husband). Each picture has a million stories to tell. Each picture was taken not to be put up anywhere but to keep as a document to pull up in a conversation decades from now to tell a fabulous tale.
Do we not have silly pictures at all then? We do. I have a series of absolutely mundane pictures of me sitting on the couch or the husband reading a book or a selfie of what I'd look like with a mustache. These pictures have a different place in my heart (and on my laptop). However, these were pictures that bring back fond memories. It has nothing to do with the need to document or showcase, but more to do with trying to hold on with all my might a moment that'll never repeat. Aren't photographs just that? The human desire to cling on to a feeling? One that you know will never come back? I try to be practical about taking pictures but I fail. I look at a lot of the instagram photos and wonder if people ever go back to see them and then I ask myself the same question, will I ever go back and see those pictures? I don't know. But the desire to hold on is so immense we would rather look narcissistic than miss out on those moments, even one that look remotely important.