May 2, 2010

A Day in the Life

After a whirlwind April that included visits from friends far and wide (including some two-year-old twins), I'm finally back on track with a new post. Hello again!

I feel like all girls my age kept a diary when they were younger. It was definitely the hip thing to do in middle school and high school. I occasionally would write entries in my own journal, but for whatever reason, I didn't feel emotionally connected to what I was writing. I jotted down the things that happened in my day, but it was usually pretty mundane. "I practiced piano today" and "I did my math homework" were pretty common entries and were even then only sporadically written. Despite the fact that I was a huge nerd and really self-conscious about it, there apparently wasn't a lot of angst that I needed to capture on paper.

Now, I'll occasionally go back and read journal entries and reminisce about things that happened to my younger self (like the field trip to DC in 8th grade when a few of my roommates decided it would be a good idea to give two 20-year-old military enlistees our hotel room keys). For the most part, though, I rely on pictures to bring back memories of the past. Like they probably do for everyone, my pictures remind me of things I've forgotten about or great times that I can't forget. Recently, my husband has taken to scanning pictures into the computer from all our old negatives. My favorites so far? One picture from my first big trip to Alaska with my mom when I was 5 and one of Chris and I standing on top of the World Trade Center when he took me to visit Manhattan. It's not that they're great photos, but they bring back memories I didn't even realize I had and stir up emotions that aren't even related to those specific events.

However, one thing that I dislike about my picture collection is that there are pretty much only photos of "special occasions" like holidays or weddings or vacations. But most of life actually consists of things that happen between those events. And I also think that posed pictures really capture what is happening at any given time. I mean, when is the last time you just looked up into the distance and just smiled for an imaginary photographer. It doesn't really happen unless you have a camera aimed at you.

So I decided to spend one day and capture the things that I saw that struck me. Most of them were mundane things, but were just happenings from everyday life that I decided to capture: going for a run, the beauty of flowers in spring, a delicious cupcake break, or just sunlight streaming through the window on a beautiful day.

You could argue that this images are still kind of fake constructs simply because of the fact that I stopped to look and take a picture, but I draw the line at wearing a camera strapped to my neck all day long. I'm hopeful that I'll look at these pictures in a year or two, or maybe even 20 years and have them conjure up things I can't even imagine right now.