Bits and pieces of memories fade, resurface and transform when we recall important moments from our lives. The happy thing about photographs is that they have the transcendent power to capture these memories, to immortalize the visual details, and help ‘paint the scene’ when we ‘remember the times.’
The absence of a photograph, however, speaks just as loudly, perhaps providing even more detail, than an album of memories. How is that so, you wonder? The undocumented moments occur when we’re too caught in the moment, too busy laughing, enjoying, and just, well, being, that we forgot to snap a photograph or 7. And you know what? Those moments, despite my love for photography, are my favorite kind.
Fill my days with laughter and activities and people that make me forget about my phone and my camera. Give me sunshine that begs to be enjoyed rather than documented. Let me sit in the grass, read away the morning, and then spend the afternoon hitting balls with my brothers. I’ll drink sweet tea and chat with my baby cousins as the sun goes down.
I boarded the homeward bound train wishing I had photographs of Thanksgiving in Chicago, but as I muse about my lack of documentation, I am grateful for the special moments that made me forgot about my camera. Those moments helped make memories more valuable than a collection of photographs.