'History is memory, when our history is lost; our memory is always diminished.'
I jotted that quotation down in one of my notebooks some time ago, unfortunately I didn't make a note of where I found it or who said it, and therefore I’m not sure of the context of the quote, but it reminded me of an incident on holiday.
We spent a morning walking and enjoying spectacular views at Cape Byron, and during our visit we saw a pod of humpback whales. It was a brilliant half hour watching these magnificent creatures on their migration journey. Needless to say most people had their camera’s, phones or tablets out taking photos. As I stood next to a small group I overheard one of them say, ‘Why don’t you come out from behind your camera for a few minutes and just enjoy watching.’
The technology we have is brilliant. We can capture events and upload the photos or video for the world to see. A lot of the news information we gain comes from ‘people on the street’ watching events unfold. However with that ability to capture so much, we also lose a lot. I guess it comes back to being in the moment. When we’re constantly behind a lens, or a phone or tablet screen, we don’t actually see the view other than through a lens.
I wouldn’t swap the technology we enjoy, but we shouldn’t forget what our memories capture: the feel of a child’s hand in ours, the sun on our skin, the scent of the sea, the sound of the waves pounding the rocks and children’s laughter.
I don't need a photo to remind me of the sense of anticipation I had as a child on Christmas Eve, or going on holiday and wanting
to be the first to catch that first glimpse of the sea, and the joy of holding my daughters as babies.
Yes, we should take photos and video, but we must live the memories as well.