Preserve or Experience

I don’t remember most of the moments of this adventure. Even the moments of overwhelming beauty that impacted me to my very soul have faded with times. I might remember slight details or how I felt in that moment, but that is only in the rarest of cases. Nearly every experience I’ve had, no matter how amazing it has been, has been fleeting.

I think it is natural to try and capture these moments in a tangible way, a way that they can be shared with others as well as remind us of our past. Art, particularly photography, seems to help us accomplish this task. As good as technology has become and as talented as some photographers are I don’t know if the representation of a scene will ever replace the experience of seeing it live. Every accomplishment in our lives has a required loss that comes when we move on and maybe all of that is a good thing.

Perhaps there is some value in the temporary nature of our experiences. It may be a pointless task to try and record it in photograph or in our minds. Perhaps trying to record the experience actually takes away from the experience. By trying to make something permanent we miss out on the value it has in our lives. The healing nature of new experiences and the creativity that can flow from accomplishments are overshadowed by our need to preserve. By trying to photograph from the mountaintop we miss out on the moment. Now is all we have, and we shouldn’t sacrifice it in an attempt to save it for the future.

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