Here we are in central Oregon (Camp Sherman), enjoying one of the world’s most beautiful rivers, the Metolius. The leftover Thai food in the refrigerator beckons, but a weblog posting beckons even more strongly. Brevity in writing is encouraged by gastric growlings, though. My verbosity would be minimized if I always wrote on an empty stomach.
I’ve been carrying around my new digital camera, an Olympus Stylus 300 that I had to get after my daughter visited with her stylish envy-inducing Canon Elph. Having a camera small enough to fit in a waist/fanny pack has been interesting for me. Early indications are that this piece of technology is subtly influencing how I experience the world—and in a positive fashion. I find myself looking more attentively at what there is to look at, assessing everything for its photographic possibilities. And because digital photography is costless, until a photo is printed, it is easy to say, “That’s interesting. I’ll capture the moment.”
Isn’t this what I should be saying to myself all the time? It’s kind of strange that it takes a camera in my pocket to open my eyes to what is around me—the play of the setting sun on ponderosa pines, our dog laying down in the cold river water to allay the 90 degree air, a deer jumping across Lake Creek. While walking along, all too often I’m immersed more in the ramblings of my internal mind than in the sights and sounds of external existence. Both are part of reality, to be sure, but the camera helps me focus on the simple substance of the objective reality that is reflected in my consciousness, rather than my subjective reflections that are, obviously, once removed from that natural substance itself.
Eventually, I hope, I’ll be my own camera, more accurately than now capturing the truth and beauty of what I experience. Until then Stylus 300 will be my crutch, and my reminder that whatever the ultimate nature of this physical world is, it will only come my way in this particular fashion this once, and never again. How precious is a single moment, then?