Welcome back. It's hard to believe the summer of 2017 is about to become a memory: the partial eclipse of the sun, a wedding, the birth of twins, visits with friends, vacationing with family, hot air ballooning, laughter on the beach, fishing from the dock, compelling word games, gardening, tennis, great books, excitement, solitude, and many insights. I snapped photos of much of it. I enjoy being the photographer. I don't like being the one photographed. The images argue with my reality.
There's a saying that the camera never lies. But what if the image it captures contradicts my truth? My experience of life is from the inside out. Yet photos can capture only the outside — the surface appearance of what's happening. And often what the film documents belies the richness of my internal experience. The face I see on on film is often not smiling, and wrinkles and jowls don't jibe with the silky smoothness of how this face feels to the touch. Did the camera make mistakes as it danced in the play of light and shadows or are the sensations of my fingertips lies?
How do I reconcile the difference between the youthfulness I feel, the love that spills from my heart, and the images people identify as me? This isn’t a reaction to aging. I’ve never liked seeing photos of myself. I’m not photogenic — or maybe that's just another way to say that an image just can't look as rich as life feels. I prefer the real experience to the photo the camera records.
Looking at this photo of a sunrise, I wonder if the sun questions the reality of its image. Does it care about the intensity of its color on film, or the speed with which it rises on recorded videos? I can't imagine that it identifies with any documentation of its existence.
Photo truth or not, let's all continue to snap picture memories. We're recording moments of what truly matters — reminders of the internal experience of connecting with all that is.