Capturing the Moment

Sandy, my dear hubby, recently read my post on Nantucket.  His comment was, “It didn’t feel nearly that serene while we were there . . .”   Sandy’s comment got me thinking about how blogs, and photographs in general, provide such a selective window into someone’s life.   I’ll use the photographs from the second part of our wonderful summer vacation to illustrate my point.Photography constantly amazes me with its ability to capture such singular and beautiful moments, whether they be joyful or serene.

This is what I love about the art.  Photographs inspire a mood or a powerful feeling simply from capturing one instant in time. 

That instant may be embedded in a whirl of chaos, amidst anger or sadness or joy.  The viewer doesn’t really know.  The photo even may be taken by mistake.  
In photography, you don’t hear bickering, or yelling, or whining or someone calling your name over and over.  And yes, all of that takes place in my life, really, what feels like the majority of the time. My Nantucket post didn’t show C & A fighting about who got more lemonade as I took the picture of B knitting.  The hydrangea shot didn’t show my irritated husband who wanted help packing a picnic while I took a million flower shots.  The photos didn’t show that I got the shot of B going through the hedges because A & C had run ahead and left him straggling behind.  The photos don’t show that this lagging nature plagues B, but it just doesn’t seem to be him to want to push.  Still, at the end of the path, there the boys stood side by side, the best of friends, gazing at the ocean and whispering so as to not ruin the moment.  And then, look at this, don’t they look sweet. But, what you cannot see is that in the next instant B grabbed C’s privates and all sorts of insanity ensued.

This turned out to be a boon. I love this shot of them standing apart because they didn’t trust being close to one another.

So, when you look at beautiful blogs and despair, keep the faith.  It’s not that those bloggers’ lives cannot possibly be that perfect, because they can’t, really.  Its more that these special, serene, lovely moments are in all of our lives.   You just have to keep your eyes open for them.

I’m so glad B straggles behind, because look how I caught him here:

You don’t see me getting wildly bitten by mosquitos here – but doesn’t it look lovely and peaceful?

So glad Sandy asked me to go get the forgotten camera, because look what I saw on the way to the house:

So glad I bartered with my husband to take a run instead taking my turn to make breakfast for the kiddos, because look at the light I found at the end of the tunnel:

Or, the little bit of green hope I found in a patterned sea of concrete:
These five shots above were all taken with my iphone and the addition of an filterTruly, these beautiful moments, these creative visions, exist in all our lives.  But, it takes practice to be aware of them, see them and capture them.
So, in thinking of our time in Nantucket – the quietness, the relationship building, the fun, the pure joy that I described in my post – it was all there.  It all occurred, but of course, these moments were sandwiched within every day crazies and drama.

But, if this blog has taught me one thing, it is that if we slow down enough, we can capture the quiet, touching, beautiful moments in our lives.

And, then, I need to remember to put down that camera once in a while so that this isn’t how all my friends and family will remember me . . . 

  1. Ali

    Oh yes, you speak the truth. Sometimes it’s why I like my photographs a few weeks after I took them, so the emotion of reality has disappeared and you just see the photo for what it is, as a stand alone thing.
    Yours are very beautiful.

  2. Anonymous

    Anne, your blog is perceptive and a beautiful
    description and case for mindfulness in one’s
    daily living. “An instant embedded in a whirl
    of chaos” sounds very like Buddhism to me!

  3. Monica

    So lovely Anne!! And such a great message…

  4. fabulous Anne – it just keeps getting better and better…..

  5. Molly

    so very, very true. someone recently commented on my picture of bread dough that i made baking look so clean. it was a close-up! carefully cropped to leave the messy counters out of the frame! baking is not so clean, and either is life, but i’m grateful that photography and writing help me accentuate the positive and crop out the negative. at least some of it. i often find the negative stuff the most entertaining.

    beautiful pictures anne, and a much needed message in the land of mommy blogs.

  6. Love, love, love, love, love this. <3

  7. Wonderful! I love hearing about behind the scenes. It’s great to see your family. BTW – are you using a Rebel? I’ve been thinking of getting one. Your beautiful photos are convincing me.

  8. Suzy

    What a beautifully-written post! Your words really capture a lot of emotions I’ve had about blogging, choosing which photos and life bits to share, and the thought that blogs do seem to present only carefully-selected moments.

  9. Wonderful words of wisdom! Wishing I had taken more photos during our vacation as we had gorgeous days with beautiful lighting…but also glad to put the camera down and just BE.

  10. This is such a great post Anne, you are right, bloggers lives do often look so perfect and we do think “how”?? But really its just about capturing the small sparkly moments in life.I’m really enjoying catching up with your blog, lovely as always!

  11. Brittany

    Nicely done, Anne! I wish more bloggers would write “behind the scenes” posts like this. As much as I enjoy seeing the pretties and reading about the fun, it can have an adverse effect on self-satisfaction, you know? Your children are adorable, BTW. 🙂

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