What a rich and imaginative discussion this has sparked. I won’t add to the speculations others have offered about what Terry’s mother may or may not have intended. However, I will say that hearing Terry tell that tale reminded me of something in my own life. Years ago, after lugging heavy camera gear along with me on several backpacking trips, I abruptly decided to abandon the practice. Not only had I grown weary of the extra weight on my back, but I realized that, rather than actually enjoying the views and images I was seeing and the experiences I was having, I was instead crushing them down and processing them through a lens. The camera had become a blindfold to my eyes, a burden on my back, and a wall between me and the joys of the moment. It had made me oblivious to life itself. However, I did not immediately realize all of this. It was only after I came across a particularly remarkable tiny fungus on one of my next trips, and had stared at it with awe for a very long time. Afterwards I chastised myself for not having my camera with me, but I suddenly realized that, by not having my camera and by drinking in the wonder of that image in real time, I had burned it more deeply and vividly into my memory than any camera or piece of film ever could have. Ever since, I have been completely freed to live each moment to the fullest, with no barriers or distractions. And it has never bothered me that I don’t have photos to remind me of my experiences. Besides, a photo can never equal the experience itself. I am at peace with the fleeting nature of the moment.
More information about text formats