Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Remember Limbo and Purgatory, and...

Can life moments be captured by a photo or a memoir piece? I no longer keep thoughts or deeds journals. I never really succeeded when I tried. Snippets here and there, a moment in a decade, a blurry photograph. If low and confused, I write stuff down, as a way to decode, I guess, the importance of the blow I feel at the moment, rather than chronicle the entire event in details.

Something in me feels that there will be endless opportunities to catch all that is worth catching and this moment is repeated often enough that it is not worth clogging that memory stick waiting in the hole of the laptop.

I carry my phone everywhere these days; but I seldom use all its functions. Taking pictures takes me out of the action, becoming someone I am not. Besides, I rather receive pictures from others; and then, in a state of nostalgia for things and people I met across my journey, for the person I used to be in the moment someone else captured, I can enjoy and appreciate the event and all its facets again and again. What it seems to be, this reluctance of mine, is a distaste for posing rather than a distaste for recording. Also, it is a distaste for relegating life to snippets, to blurry arrangements that are neither artistic, nor realistic. In the moment of a picture being taken, we, the subjects, are being frozen out of our moment, literally.

Perhaps, my dislike for picture taking has to do with my realization that what is happening may not be what was meant to happen; what was detailed to happen in the plan we all made before the event took place.

Or, it is my desire not to be disappointed. You see,  I used to keep lists and construct elaborate plans for my life. Financial plans; food plans; career plans; educational plans...There was never a week when I didn't have a detailed weekly menu and grocery list; when I didn't maneuver my numbers to come up with more money for savings, for vacations, for those piano lessons. I excelled at planning.

At work, when processes such as , "Strategic Planning", "Total Quality Control";  and "Risk Abatement" were bantered about, I jumped on the "Bandwagon" and schooled myself in these strategies. I wanted to be the first and the best, eager and willing to implement new and improved methods and strategies I read about in the journals I subscribed to, or the workshops I attended.

(I never did take pictures at these events. If pictures were taken, and later became adverting for future events, I felt a sense of disappointment, and betrayal, as though a moment in time capturing two, three groups at a training could stand for weeks of pouring through notes and manuals, for mastering difficult ideas and making them fit in comfortably with current practices.)

What was a  long professional quest, to become state- of- the- art with vision, mission and strategic planning, accounting for all the factors that might derail or spur the team from or to success, such long planning  could never be captured in one, two pictures, in one two sentences.

Can we really capture things, frame them in a few words when they are  constantly changing?

Life, private or professional,  has a way to slip through, reach out and faze out processes even before they are mastered, becoming distracted  when something new hits the shelves. We no longer spend a lifetime mastering anything, as new tools appear right at our fingertips promising everything we were missing.  We no longer know what to trust when something hits the market.

We can't even trust our memories or the memories of those who came before us, the ancient wisdom that chronicled and provided  needed wisdom for the future.

As I watch my daughter implement Montessori learning opportunities for her toddler, I smile and rejoice. Maria Montessori's wisdom is still alive and thriving. Everything old is new again. Who knows, something I might have said or done will still survive past my lifetime.

Perhaps I should take a picture, or a video of this day. Some thing needs to be written down and recorded so when we feel neglected or disappointed by our present we can retrieve the past and begin anew. Remembering doesn't come naturally for many people. Writing things down or painting a picture may just help us see the folly or the glory of past days.


Friko said...

the more things change the more they stay the same.
wise words.

I never planned, for much of my life I drifted; I am almost ashamed at my lack of foresight and good intentions. Yet today, after a life of never making provisions, I am doing better than I ever have before.

Perhaps what has always saved me from total destruction has been my practical nature. I am sensible to the point of being a bore - a sensible drifter; is there such a concept?

UIFPW08 said...

Hi Rosaria
un saluto dalla Sicilia


Tom Sightings said...

I too have given up trying to be state-of-the-art, and am leaving it up to the kids. But isn't that our best chance of having something we've said or done survive past our lifetime ... thru our kids?

Linda Myers said...

I do state of the art if it looks useful, but I don't change just to change. My kids can do that.

Marty Damon said...

I'm only up on things that apply to what I'm doing at the moment, and if it gets too technical I call the spousal unit to solve it for me.
I was never successful at journaling. I realized at some point that the only time I really wrote anything was when I was upset. Who wants a diary full of gripes?

#1Nana said...

I am a techno junkie, but only because the technology is now so easy that I don't need any real skill or knowledge to use it. I just wish that they wouldn't keep introducing new charging cords. Remember when there was a universal plug that you plugged into the wall? My grandchildren arrive tomorrow...they will force me to learn new technical skills.

ellen abbott said...

never much of a planner myself. I generally wait and see what circumstances have arrived and work within that. I fly by the seat of my pants. I try to keep up with the technology but it is slowly losing ground. who has the time to figure all that stuff out.

Maggie May said...

I find that things come round full circle eventually as you're finding with your grandchild.

I do make plans and keep a journal but find that even the best laid plans have to be changed as the originals are often thwarted.
I like to read what I was doing 5 yrs ago though!
Maggie x

yaya said...

I do plan here and there and I also "fly by the seat of my pants" at times. Working in surgery you have to always be ready with a plan B because plan A can go haywire ASAP. I wanted to learn a total knee setup perfectly so I scrubbed weekly only those cases for over a it down pat...then the Doc changed the equipment he was using to a totally new set. I just shook my head..figures...started all over. Now, I just pray I can move forward as technology in medicine changes constantly. In life, I'm the picture taker..I love to look back and see the faces of family and friends and see how each year brings changes. I think it's wonderful to catch those moments in time that can never be relived except in memory and on film...or digital! However, I always respect the privacy of others and ask permission before I click a pic!

Becky Jerdee said...

I always like to do gratitude journals or write my plans or track my eating. However, if I reread my words, I feel embarrassed or shy and think...why do I keep these? I don't want them discovered after I die. I consider journals private things and don't want mine to be seen. So I periodically shred them.

Retired English Teacher said...

This is such a fascinating post on so many levels. I certainly understand where you are coming from in this, and I even agree with what you have to say. Having said that, I love to capture moments on my camera, with my pen, or even as a memory. On the other hand, I also loath to take out a camera to capture the moment because it takes me out of it at other times.

Journaling is so helpful for me when it comes to understanding myself, my situation, my take on a situation. I can write it and forget about it. Journaling is how I process. My kids can shred my journals for me after I die. I hope I don't hurt them by what I say. It is only my mother that I would not want to read my journals and deepest thoughts. That is a sad thought, but it is an honest one.

By nature, I am not a planner. I have never been a planner. Teaching was torture for me when it came to daily plans. I was a big picture planner. I knew my goals and objectives. I knew what I wanted to teach and why. I made notes for a scope of weeks to come, but the daily plans would baffle me when it came to writing them down. I guess I taught shooting from the hip most of the time with the main thing in mind. Luckily, I could get away with it. The daily plan police never came after me. I was tight when it came to outlining assignments with rubrics and recording in my grade book, but the planning was beyond me.

The same goes for grocery lists, meal plans, vacations that are all planned out. I drive my husband crazy.

A Cuban In London said...

I loved this post because it pulled me in different directions. The framed, frozen moment in time is only that, a fleeting instant, captured but let go of again within a second. Your post reminded me of the fragility of our human existence but also of our fortitude to withstand change and adversity. Thanks, your post meant a lot to me today.

Greetings from London.