Capturing a Memory and Missing the Moment

Capturing the memory and missing the moment!

I guess like a lot of people reading this blog, we’ve appreciated the lovely summer weather.  Shorts and T-shirts donned each day and every opportunity taken to enjoy being outside enjoying the sun and warm air.  I was talking to somebody a few weeks ago, who didn’t seem to appreciate this gift of a summer here in Northumberland but were instead looking forward to “real sun and hot weather” that they were expecting on their holiday in the Spain.  I have just seen them and asked about their holiday which turned out to be disappointing. Not because the weather was poor but a whole mixture of experiences; poor accommodation, noisy neighbours, overcrowded beaches and a 24 hour sickness bug led them to conclude that as far as they were concerned, this summer had done nothing for them.  I did feel a little sorry for them but also couldn’t help feel that their attitude and approach to things was the main reason why they had failed to appreciate the gift of this beautiful season, which for the last couple of months has seen  wonderful warm weather.  They were living for the future, the prospect of an ideal holiday and failed to appreciate what was with them in the present.

It’s a bit like people who spend so much time on their mobile phones, with in-built cameras, taking photos, shooting videos, the overwhelming majority of which will never be looked at again and will simply add to cumbersome files in the data storage on their laptops or pc’s.  In being so concerned to capture the memory, they are missing the experience of the present moment.  The ability simply to enter in to the “sacrament of the present moment”, to experience all that that moment affords; the sights, sounds, smell, thoughts and feelings, the conversation and atmosphere, all those things that can’t be captured through a camera lens.

Ironically a brilliant photograph in The Guardian at this year’s Royal Ascot captured a moment when those in the VIP enclosure watched the Queen enter the racecourse in her carriage.  The photograph captures over half of the spectators in the stand with their IPhone and digital cameras out.  It was a brilliant photograph, it made me laugh out loud and then feel pretty sad. Being hooked by technology something in our spirits has been taken captive to what can only be recorded by mechanical means and memory gets stored in computer data and not in the heart and mind.

There’s a place for looking back and memories are important. The loss or eradication of them does damage to the human soul.  There’s also a place to look forward, to imagine, plan and envisage what might happen in the future but I would suggest there is an even greater need to appreciate the sacrament of the present moment, to live in the now, to learn to be content with what is, to appreciate all that is before us in the present, is a gift of God.

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