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March 24, 2013


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I don't know about the school concerts -- even professional recordings of such things often are meh -- but I know I was thrilled to see St. Peter's Square with a familiar face (our former pastor) in the corner of the screen. Almost as good as being there myself.

I don't video much these days, but occasionally I wish I did. Just bits and pieces. Because I do forget eventually, and if I have a bit, then the rest comes back from the distant archives in my brain. I love watching home video of the morning at home on my wedding day. My grandmother was there... and I get to hear her voice. I love that.

But I enjoy the moment more if I'm not holding a camera/video camera/whatever. I love to just sit and soak in every minute of a performance (though I admit that I'm referring to the present performances that I get to see these days, not the early beginning, though I do remember loving being there and hoping that they had learned something...). I don't know if it's because of my mom's diagnosis, but I'm approaching life lately with an undercurrent of enjoy the moment, because it won't be here later. Life is so precious, and there is more beyond, but I'm trying to completely enjoy the moments I have.

I'm with Tracy. Just bits and pieces of recordings or video are enough to bring back a wash of memory for me where I would eventually forget without it. I think it's about finding a balance between taking the souvenir snapshot or video, but not letting that rule the event. It's like salt--a little goes a long way.

And don't worry about the judging thing. Everyone has something they struggle with and I appreciate your openness in sharing your struggle. I think that everyone who shares your blog feels supportive of your growing process.

Ugh school performances are the worst. I can't imagine wanting to save them. No, the videos I want to catch and keep are the unguarded moments. The girl reading to her younger sister, the baby's laugh, the lisp that will soon fade and I won't remember how that child sounded once they learn how to say the word properly. I do love going back to watch the little snippets of video that we have. I know I do take a lot of pictures, but I think I strike a fairly good balance of recording and living. I take a few shots to record and share and then put the camera away and enjoy doing and being. I think for me the greater danger is trying to record the moment in words. The Facebook update or blog post.

I don't know about C.S. Lewis, but Walker Percy has an essay about recording vs living in the moment. I'll see if I can find it.

Here you go: The Loss of the Creature

I haven't thought this out all the way, but one thing that pops to mind is voices -- the ephemeral bit of a person's life and breath that brings it all back to you in a rush. I replay a little snippet of the way my grandfather used to say my name, in hopes of never forgetting it altogether. And one reason my friend is glad she arranged for a wedding video is that she has our former pastor's voice on it: he passed away suddenly not long afterward, and the bits of him speaking and singing are treasures. His voice was so HIM.

That was one reason I tried to get some video of my son when I could think of it: I wanted his baby voice, and his toddler voice.

So, not sure about all the set performances, or renditions of happy birthday, and all -- but I do love having something of a person in a snippet of speech or song.

I'm a terrible recorder simply because I don't care for reminiscing! Photos are plenty. I take issue with the people who insist on calling it "capturing". They capture nothing because it's already gone.

I think videos are very important for registering babyhood and playing at home and friends and stuff, NEVER long public performances (maybe one song on the piano by one child, if at all).

My kids' school actually makes DVDs of all events available for sale and I never buy them.

Now, I don't have a lot of time to watch home-videos either, but I hope my son will be able to edit them soon.

My parents recorded hours and hours of footage of our sons as babies and they love to watch them, which I think it's nice.

I don't have an iphone or a video camera (budget), and I can honestly say I kind of regret not having one. I would love to have taken videos of my son when he was small - talking, playing, etc...as my boy got older, my dad started taking videos, and reviewing them is kind of fun.

My son was at a recital a couple of weeks ago, and initiated a conversation with me about the different behaviors of adults there (no laughter at mistakes, constantly looking through their video/iphone lens to record the moment, measured *but maybe not so authentic* clapping). I think he really gets the "be in the moment" thing, which makes me really happy...and which makes me want to learn from him.

I don't have a video camera or a smart phone. I've never taken a video of my kids. No family films were taken of me or my siblings either, since my parents did not have a video camera either. I wonder if this makes my family freakish. Is videotaping de rigueur?

I've been taking still pictures since I was old enough to understand how to hold a camera. I have albums full of pictures, and shoe boxes full of negatives, duplicates, and duds. Though I do go back and look at them with enjoyment, when my children were little, I realized that the camera was mediating my experience of their lives.
I still do love to take pictures (digitally now), but the camera is no longer a permanent fixture hanging from my shoulder. Sometimes now, even when the camera is hanging next to my purse, I think twice about using it. With my eye on the viewfinder, I have thought, "This moment is better enjoyed and experienced than preserved and archived." And then I put the camera down.
I never videotape anything, and I, like you, wonder why other people do.

When I Googled some combination of "C.S. Lewis man watching sunset watching self watching it" (or something like that) one of the top hits was this post. So I'm no help there. Though it seems deliciously fitting somehow.

I am often the mom who forgot her camera and asks her friend to please share her pictures. (There's probably a special place in social media hell for an image freeloader like me.) I do love candid photos, much more than photos taken at events, or posed, or whatever. And the video of my kids that I most cherish (I actually used to take more video in the old days, with our dinosaur of a camera than I do now with digital) is the stuff at home -- as Melanie said, the squeaky voice that will mature, the play written by a five-year-old, the stuff I forget but later delight in when I sit and watch it with the very kids I taped.

I don't video long performances but I do like to capture snippets of life. I do it so I can remember and also so that my kids can catch a glimpse of themselves as children. My mother-in-law only has seen one photograph of herself as a child. And her relatives that took it refuse to give it to her. She has no idea what she looked like. Obviously my children won't have that problem but I try to think of the moments they will want to share with their grandchildren when I whip out my camera. On the flip side I want them to remember my face looking at them, not a camera lens ;)

My dad spends a ton of time with a video camera and then a ton of time editing what he has recorded. He does get paid for some of it but he also does it because he likes it. My theatre company friends love him because he drives up to record a show every time I'm in one and, occasionally, when I am not. Then he makes copies for all the cast and crew. I am slightly embaressed to admit that I've never watched any of them, though I hear from other cast members that he does a fantastic job.

We video snippets of events fairly regularly. Tay LOVES watching things that happened when he was a baby and also loves watching video of his cousins (recorded by my dad).

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