Double Edged

I think this might end up being a long one … it will take a bit, to get to the end point I am trying to make. Grab a coffee ….

So, this morning after an hour at the PC, I decided to head off to Circle B Bar Reserve. I was feeling a bit off and decided that a good trail might be the right remedy. It was just after eight when I got there and the blue skies were already responsible for the morning being in the low 80’s.

In the early part of the trails, I happened across the same woman twice; she had a huge lens (maybe 600 mm) and she was hand-holding it, which told me she really wasn’t likely to get much. But both times, she muttered “there’s nothing here. Complete waste” and as I countered with comments about how lovely it was anyway or how we should just breathe it in and enjoy, she just dismissed and walked on.

The second time she was standing right in front of where I got the moth on the violet colored flower (attached to this) and she just looked beyond it. People will be unhappy if they want to be, I guess. Me, I was delighted and between the moths, butterflies, birds and plants, I had a wonderful time that lasted a couple of hours.

I took the long trail this morning and I was on the back end of it, maybe three miles or so into it when I began to reflect on her “nothing here” comments and revisited in my own head what I had seen. I found that I couldn’t really remember as I had taken about five hundred pics at that stage. “But when I get back home, I will see them on the PC, so no worries.”

And that’s what made me think … we have externalized much of our memory and thought process these days. We rely on PCs to remember important work stuff for us, phones to remember people’s numbers, and cameras to remember moments that we have witnessed.

No, I am not going to address the whole laziness aspect. That’s a different point. In this instance though and particularly when it comes to cameras, we have found a way to remember stuff long after our evolved brain ever should remember.

There is a real cost to remembering … by photographing people at events and at times that were special to us, we introduce a whole world of sadness and unhappiness into our future that our brains were never meant to deal with. When we look at images taken 20 years ago, the presence of a lost love or a lost family member, or even a grown child can have a seriously negative effect on us and make us profoundly sad.

Humans were never meant to remember stuff indefinitely. Our brain’s capacity for memory and recall is limited and often even devolves with age. In the past, recollection was limited to very significant moments in human’s lives and even then, was generally a glossy version of what happened. We didn’t have to live with total recall and face the consequences of any loss or changes that could severely impact us.

Extending human memory really originated when we began to write things down. Until then, we relied on storytellers to capture and recite history for us. I can imagine that moment when they sat around the table coming up with the first alphabet, so that words could be formed and the past could be remembered.

There was probably some idiot in the corner arguing against that progress and that we should make storytelling great again.

But words alone could never capture the true essence of the past. They were limited in their scope and often influenced by those with a message to instill within them.

Then came images …

Everyone now has a phone camera and many of us shoot endless numbers of pics with digital cameras. There is no cost associated with it so we shoot everything. From baby’s first drool, to grandma snoring in the chair at the wedding.

The proliferation of images is astounding and in years to come, current generations will struggle to cope with the added emotions of all these captured memories. We are already doping a sizable percentage of these kids so I guess we will just have to up the dosage.

But in all seriousness, technology for all its advantages has a very sharp other side to it that we should really be very cautious of. We don’t know the long-term effects of memory-overload and there could be very dark clouds on the horizon.

As Gladys Knight sang about memories in “The way we were” … “those too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget”. But what if we aren’t allowed to forget?

My own answer is to photograph nature, and creatures, and abstract stuff. But I avoid shooting my friends and loved ones at all costs. I willfully choose to forget.

Anyway, hope these shots brighten your week … I absolutely love the shots of the dew on that grassy plant and likely still will in ten years, if I get to see it again.

4 thoughts on “Double Edged”

  1. Wow Neville!!! What a great find you were! I love your photos but even more importantly I love your spirit, outlook, and writing style! Looking forward to future posts! I’m a reader, writer, and nature lover myself!! Sorry you “lost” your umbrella! 😉

    1. Thank you so much young lady. So glad you got a chance to check this out and thank you for being so kind.
      Yes i will have to check out your area. You are absolutely right!

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