Dicentra spectabilis (Bleeding Heart) lifted from Ellen's woodland garden late last summer and planted in our own border beneath the high retaining wall early fall makes its home where the heart is in Chelsea-by-the-Sea.
"Often what we call memory consists of images or even embellished accounts that have become established in our minds through telling and re-telling," emails Norm Geras of normblog in response to our own email re his post "Being there and remembering," where he writes:
There's this question whether or not to take photos of an event you're part of and how doing so will affect your memory of it. Tyler Cowen says that if you do take photos you'll remember the event more vividly because you're stopping and noticing things. Andrew Sullivan thinks your experience of the event is more authentic if you're living it in the present and not worrying about storing it for the future.
I don't know about taking photos, something I hardly ever do, but from a comparable activity, namely, taking (or not taking) notes on an event, in order to write about it, I'd say that neither of these generalizations can be sustained. There's no single right way of being 'in the moment' . . . As Tyler points out, your view is bound to be mediated in some way (which is not to say that every view or account is as good as every other).
Babe strikes a thoughtful pose atop the kitchen counter this afternoon, contemplating the big wait between supper and breakfast, knowing that a carefully focused stare or well aimed Mr. Paw can elicit the necessary kitty treats to tide him through.
As one who does know something about taking photos, we agree with Tyler and Norm that "your view is bound to be mediated in some way" and had this to add to Norm's thoughts:
Re your observation that "the record you have made itself becomes your memory of it," couldn't that very thing be said of most -- if not all -- of photojournalists' work [not to mention journalists' work in general], from Michael Yon's pieta-like image of Major Beiger cradling a dying Iraqi girl to the shameless propaganda setups of Pallywood?
Where picture-making is concerned -- whether your images are fashioned of pixels or paints or words or whatever -- the eye of the beholder rules. Were Georgia O'Keefe to paint an image of our Bleeding Heart, it would have been up close and personal.
The American Primitive artist who painted our favorite bird's-eye view of a cat would have honed in on Baby's killer glare for scarifying effect. Because the visual image is seductive, viewers would do well to beware the feelings it evokes and think twice before embracing the artist's/writer's "vision."
"You DID capture the day," our imail correspondent writes of the custom photo album with quilted cover and Letraset quotations we made for her wedding back in the day. "The ladies getting ready. I love that part." Photo by Tuck of Susan, Mummy and Sissy getting pretty.
Update: Snapshots from an imail conversation:
She: It's all in the "eye," and most poor fools just take pictures. I retired my camera, along with my iron, decades ago . . . We're using the wedding album that you and Tuck made for Joe and me as a prop in the [Amesbury Playhouse] show. I remember it as such a happy time, and having the photos to prove it is GRAVY!!! I love the idea of a designated photographer as long as he/she is worthy.You wouldn't want me as DP. It cannot be left to an amateur with no eye.
We: Someone who thinks you just "take a picture" and that will catch the spirit of the moment.
She: I hadn't looked at [the album] in years. The years have not been kind to the Polaroid pictures, but, that aside, the day is captured in all its merriment. A glorious moment in time. The Nanas, the parents, the nun who was a cousin or something. Then all the revelers. It doesn't matter, now, that many are forgotten, or even dead, it was a shining moment.
We: They are timeless characters in an ageless drama.
She: Yes. Nothing changes but the date. If you come to the show, afterwards, I shall trot out the album for you and Tuck to see. You'll love it, and again, that's why I think your latest post was so thought provoking. Memories require two, two, two mints in one.
Update II: Lots of shots of all things bright and beautiful at Modulator's Friday Ark #190.
Update III: Teresa links with hearts and flowers.