Sunday, August 10, 2014

Why Blog?

(Grandson Nico with his dad Jason on a hike.)

We blog, we take and post pictures here and there, most obviously to keep a record of our lives for posterity. As I look back at my life, I wish I had many more pictures, many more accounts of incidents that in retrospect I seem to have lost in the caves of my memory.
This need to record, take pictures, share moments that continually define our existence is very strong with most of us, even for those who are not afraid they may forget.

Do we actually observe, and capture the moments that define us?

In these moments that seem important, do we wholeheartedly record everything, or are we constantly curating our lives now that instant messaging and instant pictures allow us to keep the best of our moments tucked away in a gallery of pictures, a storehouse of observations we choose to keep?

Perhaps it is not recording that we do.

After all, every time we sit to write, or point a camera, we are removing ourselves from the situation, becoming observers, not actors. How can we extrapolate meaning if we haven't spent time with the situation?

Aren't we altering the situation when we ask people to pose? What about that camera pointing at us, by a smiling, loving person, don't we want to please them and sit up straight and tall, flashing a big smile, wiping out any doubt that life is sure grand?

Notice how irritated we can become when a "candid" picture shows up in our cache!


Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

You're so right, Rosaria! Some people are so busy recording life for posterity that they don't live and savor the moment. I saw that and was guilty of that during our recent trip to Hawaii -- and had to remind myself to sit still and just experience the rainforest and the sea.

It can happen with family, too. It seems more frequent now with all of our electronic gear at hand -- and people texting when they could be looking into the eyes of another and talking -- but this stepping back and interrupting life goes way back.

I remember my father making a big deal about photographing certain events when we were kids and it became all about the photo, not the event, to the point that we'd stop enjoying ourselves and start weeping over his harsh instructions to stand still, smile a certain way, etc. I can look at family pictures today and know immediately who took them. Aunt Molly would photograph us as we went about our lives. Father would stop everything and we'd all step out of the moment to pose.

A very thought-provoking post, Rosaria!

Brian Miller said...

ha. i think i capture a bit of what is going on...but also in my head as well...turning the moment around...not just observer but a part of it...and finding the different facets as well...things we would not see otherwise.

Helen said...

Yes, this is a thought-provoking post! There is a balance to be maintained when it comes to 'recording the event for posterity.' My sister and I just had this conversation ~ now in our 70s, questioning why (or if) we should continue snapping away. I don't think we should. It's time to sit back or join in and let life flow around us!

Becky Jerdee said...

My son said to me one day last year, "I've put away my camera...I've been so busy taking pictures that I haven't been experienced the moment."

Blogging, for me, isn't about posting life events (at least, not often). It's more like a place for me to create. Yesterday, it occurred to me that my blog is my fairyland, a place that I can furnish with the things that create "abbey style home"....the magic door through which I can find the lost kingdom of peace of which Eugene O'Neill speaks. In my blog, I can escape the ugliness of reality and make a place that seems simple, peaceful, and least to my way of thinking. Lately, it hasn't been easy to find something to post.

joeh said...

I hate taking pictures for the reasons you say. Fortunately there is usually someone who likes to preserve the good times.

Velva said...

We have a love/hate relationship with our electronics which keep us connected 24/7. We can share almost every moment in our lives. Although I am 100% guilty not sure it is a good thing.


Linda Myers said...

My blog is like a journal, but it's selective. Major issues and topics don't go into the blogosphere. Those things I save for face-to-face conversation.

I have a family member who posts cheery and upbeat but I know there's a darkness never mentioned.

Rob-bear said...

I blog to find out what's happening in other peoples' lives, in other parts of the world. I share my life, they share theirs. It's how we get to know and understand others, and learn some useful things in passing.

Blessings and Bear hugs, Rosaria!

yaya said...

I do blog for posterity sake. I'm the one with the camera but I've given up any cranky remarks when I see "me" in real life. I've forgiven myself for not being perfect. Many times folks get mad when I click away. They say, "I hate my picture being taken". I translate that into "I hate the way I look on film". I get that...I really do...but I decided that I don't want my kids and grandkiddos to not have any proof that I existed. They know the real I really look and I know they love me. So I do take pics and I've never thought I wish I hadn't..usually it's the thought that I wish I had taken more of the ones I love. Especially when they have passed away and not with us to enjoy the times we spend together as a family. Many times I get so involved in the day I forget to click a pic...then I quickly try and get some shots and move right back into the action. I feel my picture taking brings me closer to the moments. I see the activity and the happy or sad moments quite clearly in my lens. I take the "selfie" too...hey, I'm here and I don't want to forget it!

the walking man said...

I will admit Rosaria I did myself an injustice in not lugging a camera with me between the ages of 17 & 28. Had one but it got stolen when i broke my elbow at sea and had to leave my gear to be shipped to me. I remember much but the gaps are just general I know I was here or there. Nothing to really tell me what here or there looked like then.

Must actually be a family tradition too because I think there may be 3 or 4 pictures of me as a child and if there are I don't have them.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria .. I started to blog to preserve my sanity while my mother was terminally ill - then it sort of developed out and I realised I could write blog posts and enjoy learning as I post ...

I have lots of photos from my childhood that at some stage need to be weeded out ... I don't often take photos now - as I don't have kids or grandkids - it slightly falls away .. but I do use the camera and 'collect' photos for the blog ..

But we need to remember our time is now .. and now has gone .. it's another now ...

Such is life we make of it what we will - but we need to remember we have the will to make it and to see it ..

Cheers Hilary

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Blogging for me has been slow this year. So much to do and so much to see. I post when I have time, though the daily diary has been easier to keep up with as no research and only short notes.

Take time to smell the roses, and enjoy your own blog and other people's when you have the time. Have a good day. Diane

Maggie May said...

I think it's good to have a record of the things that are important to us.
Everything changes over time and and our minds distort memories.
It's also good to share with others and follow what they're doing.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

ellen abbott said...

I blog to leave a record to my descendants, assuming I will have some past my grandchildren. my sister is into genealogy and I know dates of my forbears lives but nothing about them. I don't think stepping back to take a picture takes us out of the experience but then I mostly take candid photos.

Kate said...

I need to do both. I know that there will come a time very soon, when I won't be able to travel, and I'll want to have those photos. Even now, on days when I'm sick and not leaving the home, I look through all those old photos and it all comes back, even stuff I didn't know I'd remember.

fiftyodd said...

I blog because I love writing and I like to make people laugh by sharing experiences that others can relate to. My children are not interested in my blog.