Family

Closer to happy

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The present.  His presence.

I sift through the 32 GB SD card for the month of December.  It’s close but still a work in progress.  The digital camera interpolates the true colors with a complicated algorithm to produce the spectrum of RGB image data.  Filters reduce “alias”ing of the primary colors (red, blue, yellow).  The camera attempts to get the colors right as the digital process reduce samples the primary colors the visual eye sees.  The hubs constantly gets on me to take pictures in RAW format to try to get it right.

I am a point and shoot photographer.  I used to adjust apertures and shutter speeds manually; but now I just want the shot.

I attempt to commit things to memory while they are still fresh.  Thus I sift through my recent Christmas pictures to remember; to try to get it right for next year and the following years to come.  The digital data is very “black & white.”  It is not this data I want to catalog.  It is the sensory and feelings that I attempt to immortalize. 

As I snap my photos I constantly switch modes from Auto to Sports to Landscape and Portrait modes.  Occasionally I switch lenses; currently I favor my wide lens.  Most times I stay on Auto to capture as much detail as possible but the flash blinds and washes out the colors.  And so I switch to Manual frustrated;  the moment is gone.

Most times I am lost behind the lens missing real life.  But there is an advantage to a digital camera.  The HD capability allows me to continuously shoot, in real-time, and to ZOOM on the shot with my mouse and monitor.  Instead of chemicals in a dark room I sit with pixels on a computer screen.  It is how I found my son as he quickly marched by.  The hubs completely missed him; visually.  But the lens found him.

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I have discovered that visual stimulation jogs the associated memories.  The closer to the event I attach them; the better chance I have of recalling them.  These are the ones I don’t want to forget.  Should I ever get Alzheimer’s, like my own mother, I hope the long-term memories remain.   My scattered brain is easily distracted.  I rely on photographic images to recall the details.

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Involving other senses and attaching them to memories helps immensely.  If I hear a particular song I am transported to a specific memory that the song triggers.  If I smell cookies baking I hope to recall my sons working together; opening Hershey kisses to quickly place them upon the peanut butter dough.  Peanut butter blossoms are my favorite cookies and I always associate them with Christmas.  For several years the hubs’ side of the family creates homemade gifts to give each family.   This is the only time of year I bake.  Why?  Because I can easily gobble these cookies in one sitting.  I abstain for health reasons LOL. I would get quite obese.

We had a wonderful Christmas.  It was simpler and less stress (note I did not type stress-free).  I was centered on the reason for the season; often taking time each evening to reflect while reading Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift.    Scheduling is still a work in progress but my hospitality skills are being rediscovered.  And so I continue to look through pictures; attaching memories to them.  Most of the pictures I cherish are not posed; but of family circling about the laden tables of food.  Eating.  Talking.  Laughing.

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Christmas night was the first full night of rest I have had all month.  There is a lot of work entailed in making room, opening our hearts and homes and doors and expecting nothing in return.  I did not worry about reciprocity; nor perfection.  In letting these things go I was able to focus on what was important.  Humbly accepting things just as they are.  It really is simple but it is a lot of work arriving here.

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I usually live my life in Auto pilot, trying to absorb all the details.  This season I have returned to Manual; a little work and finesse to try to get it right.  I want to find what is true and real; my center.  I am adjusting my lens and focusing; not in portrait mode where it is posed and all pretty-like; nor sports where everything is constantly moving.  I am leaning towards landscape mode; the larger view.  I miss a few details in the viewing but I will replay my slideshow to help me get it right for the next time.

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Live the life you Love.  Love the life you Live.

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Doing this brings me closer to HAPPY.

Merry Christmas.

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