Since we all live in the digital age of camera phones and smaller and smaller cameras, it's quite easy to record fleeting moments and then file them away. I sometimes wonder if by recording things this way, we're giving our brains a vacation from actually absorbing the moment in its own way. The reason I bring this up is because I'm sure we've all had times when we wish we had our camera with us to capture something truly amazing. This is fair enough, but I sometimes wonder if in our frenzy to record everything, are we simply cheapening our experiences?
I've recently had a couple experiences where I didn't have my camera with me, or at least wasn't able to get it out in time, but it didn't matter. I trusted my brain to file away the memory just as well as if I had it on film (or a memory card).
The first moment was meeting a national celebrity while he was passing through our local airport. I've learned not to become so star struck that you ask for an autograph or picture unless you're at a book signing and everyone is doing that. Also, the thought simply didn't occur to me. However, I admit if I had seen him from a distance, I might have tried to whip out my camera, but am glad I didn't. Albeit brief, I was able to chat with him before he continued on to his gate. Plus, I felt much cooler about that than being an adoring gushing fan (which I might have been just a little bit like).
The second moment was when walking around Florence one evening with my husband when we came across a huge crowd of people gathered around a busker (a street performer) dressed like Charlie Chaplin. He was using a whistle to get people to comply with his wishes. First thing he did was get people lined up just how he wanted them, which was funny enough.
However, the 'a picture's worth a thousand words' moment came when he pulled a little girl out of the audience. She was one of a pair of twins, with short blond hair cut in a timeless pixie cut with bangs straight across her forehead. She barely came up to his waist and kept a very serious demeanor the entire time she was in front of the audience. 'Charlie' proceeded to dress her up to look like Jackie Coogan's character from the film 'The Kid.' He started out by giving her a pair of black shorts connected to suspenders. The shorts hung just above her ankles. He then gave her an oversized black t-shirt that draped almost to her knees. To top it all off, he placed on her head one of those old-fashioned black hats that old men sometimes wear. To say she looked adorable would be an understatement. No doubt that child got photographed more that night than almost any celebrity might have done. It was even cuter because she maintained the deadpan look the entire time almost teetering on tears at times (she was only 4 and separated from her family after all).