Two very dear people gave me a digital camera (pink of course) back in May of 2009 when I finished by Doctor of Ministry. One of the dear people, Sandy, teased me a LOT about my propensity for using those disposable cameras. Sandy insisted that I take one giant step toward embracing the 21st century (and now look at me, I'm blogging and everything). These sweet friends were completely right of course, and now I am a digital camera nut! I have THOUSANDS of pictures stored on my lap top and have even...are you ready for this...learned how to manipulate, send, post, etc! Though you are not going to see any evidence of that on this blog post. Enough already! I can only handle so much technology at one time.j
A few weeks ago my sweet husband and I were doing our annual year-end pilgrimage to the beach. It seems to us to be the best possible place to end one year and begin another. We were taking pictures wildly of course with the aforementioned pink digital camera. It is a delight to be able to take all the pictures you want knowing that you can delete at any time! No more worrying if I will "miss' a great shot of something gorgeous or funny because I've "used up' all the film. (Kids you will have to look up the definition of film on Wikipedia or some such sight).
I am grateful for the wild abandon with which I can take pictures now and grateful for my sweet Austin friends who gave me this wonderful camera. It did, however, get me thinking...which is what you are paying for on this amazing blog...you ARE paying, right? HA HA.
I don't want to return to the disposable camera days, but I do want to make sure that I slow down and treasure the moments I am capturing on film. My digital camera allows me to take pictures without really thinking, which is a delightful wrinkle in the fabric of technology. The danger comes, of course, when I move through some experience without thinking.
No need to marvel at that seagull, I can take a million pictures later. No need to stop and appreciate how darn cute my husband looks when he's wading into the freezing cold water in Galveston bay and doesn't know I'm looking off our balcony at him. This won't be the last chance I'll have to snap that photo I think to myself.
And on the one hand I'm really glad for that. Glad that if I take 50 pictures of seagulls I haven't "used up" the film in my camera causing me to miss a great shot later. But on the other hand...I can get pretty careless because I know there's an (almost) unlimited supply of film/space/whatchmacalit on my digital camera.
I don't want to be careless as I move through life. I want to soak up what I see and experience around me and still hold onto some bit of that feeling of "is this worth my last frame of film?" I realize a person could take this to extremes! Let's don't do that. I'm not saying that I want to be afraid all the time or miss what's right in front of me because I'm waiting for that one big picture.
I'm just saying that I waste a lot of "film", and I hope in this new year I can be more thankful and aware. More aware of my words, my time, more aware and thankful for love, more aware of my faith....striving not to take any experience for granted. Never putting a person in the category of, "I can just delete him/her later".
Digital cameras are so fun and provide for instant gratification! I love that. But I hope in this new year to retain a little of the "old school"... a little of the feeling that keeps me grateful and protective of each moment, because it really could be the last opportunity I have to capture it. Blessings to you and yours in 2011.