The Pancake Chronicles

The Pancake Chronicles: canned fruit is good but nothing beats a fresh peach

The Pancake Chronicles

Monday, November 26, 2007

canned fruit is good but nothing beats a fresh peach

      It's amazing to me the need I have to preserve myself, everything around me. The way I cold storage the days' events on my camera. I don't want to miss a thing. I want to notice everything worth noticing. Once noting something noteworthy I want to record it. In a split second I have frozen a 4" x 5" tile out of the entire scope of my vision. I need backup. My camera is plugged into the computer and the photo/s dutifully download, then it's uploaded to Flickr in case my computer crashes and destroys all evidence of their existence. Perhaps I'll print a few off while I'm at it. In reflective moments I'll take out those photos and look.
      One particular day not long ago I found myself smack dab in one of the most beautiful days I could ever remember breathing. Humans were few and far between. The sky was large, the land flung out like a lumpy blanket. Everything was vivid. Colours stood out like brave volunteers. But my camera, alas! It wasn't with me. I was crushed. I wanted to celebrate the day but what I felt was a huge sense of loss. Each second was passing from me. Popcorn clouds in sequin blue. Fence posts poking into the autumn air. Air. Oh the air! It was clean and brisk and wild and the way it swept wide across the harvest grass .... Each second was fast pushing everything behind into memories and after that, nothing. My heart physically ached. Though the world was full and generous around me I could only see things in that damned 4" x 5" rectangle.
      You see that tree? The way the trunk anchors the photo? That's right. And its branches there? Yes. How they reach out. Embraces the rest into the frame. Perfect. *click* And oh. That path hemmed in by white matting would make me wonder what was around the bend! Perfect. *click*
      Rectangles, rectangles, everywhere rectangles. Above and below, beside, beyond was
more, the world in front and behind and all my eyes could see were rectangles. Cucumbers a'plenty but wishing for pickles.
      It took a solid half hour for me to will myself to forget preservation and take in the whole. My day was tactile. It wasn't my choice of matte or glossy but real! Living, actual, physical, arriving and abandoning, second by second unfolding, coming and going and never stopping REAL. And once my finger stopped itching and the 4" x 5"s turned to 360° I was never more happy to be alive. It was enough.
      When I got home I remembered something I'd read by Toni Morrison a few years ago that summed this up:
      At some point in life the world's beauty becomes enough. You don't need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough. No record of it needs to be kept and you don't need someone to share it with or tell it to. When that happens - that letting go - you let go because you can. The world will always be there - while you sleep it will be there - when you wake it will be there as well. So you can sleep and there is reason to wake.


Blogger Nan - said...

Wonderful post.

Do you know the movie, Home For The Holidays? There is a little theme running through about the moments not preserved on film.

27 November 2007 at 07:06  
Blogger Sonya said...

I love your way with words. I always have my camera with me, but I find that particularly when I'm in the great outdoors, many times I won't even attempt to capture the beauty. There's just no way to capture everything my 5 senses are experiencing. And truthfully, lots of times I forget to pull out my camera because I'm so busy drinking in my surroundings, trying to become one with them.

27 November 2007 at 11:58  
Blogger Rachel said...

Precisely! There is just no possible way to capture the incredible beauty of nature onto computer pixels. Nothing beats the real thing!

27 November 2007 at 18:25  
Anonymous Captain Cat said...

Just a thought Colleen, but have you ever thought about writing a book? "The sky was large, the land flung out like a lumpy blanket." I am blown away by your writing. I am blown away too, by your observations and your sensitivity. To have that effortless way with words is a real gift. Is there really no end to this woman's talents I ask myself...!

Sometimes I will be witnessing something incredible but will miss 80% of it because I am too busy faffing about trying to capture the scene with my camera. And then it's too late, for the camera, or for me.

Memory is a wonderful thing, and with your writing, you can convey as well as any camera ever could any beauty you see.


28 November 2007 at 01:57  
Blogger emilyruth said...

one of my most favorite singers has a song about this very is one of my favorites
"Didn't have a camera by my side this time
Hoping I would see the world through both my eyes
Maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm
in the mood to lose my way
but let me say
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes
it brought me back to life
You'll be with me next time I go outside
No more 3x5's'

i always love your poemie posts:)

28 November 2007 at 15:04  
Blogger Scrapnqueen said...

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words--but your words are sometimes worth a thousand pictures. I am sure the picture you painted for us here is far more vivid than a few snapshots would have been, because they were taken from a perspective no camera could ever capture.

Thanks for sharing your perspective, friend. Hugs.

29 November 2007 at 01:08  
Anonymous jenna said...

Wow. Great words.
As I read I was thinking of the same song that emilyruth wrote out. I hope you've heard it. You'd like it.

3 December 2007 at 15:13  

any questions?

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