As a teenager, a photographer, and just a sentimental person in general, it has always been important to me to have pictures of my experiences. My philosophy has always been that the more photos I have, the better I will remember. Of course, there are the times when you can't capture photos because of rules or because you can't get your camera or phone out in time. Sometimes the memory simply can't be caught on film, like a smell or a texture. And sometimes it's best to forget about the pictures and truly dive into the experience at hand.
The other day, I was able to spend an evening with my friend Jackie. She and I were in choir together, and I hadn't seen her in a good while. We spent most of our time together on the docks and watched the sun set while talking about everything: our lives, school, relationships, really everything. Most of the time we spent talking was concerning faith. I have been increasingly interested and curious about trying to find my place in the Christian faith, but I haven't had the resources or the patience to really try until now. Since Jackie has always been very awe-inspiring and serene in her faith, I knew she would be the perfect person for me to talk to; and she was. She listened to my doubts and concerns, and she wasn't judgemental. She allowed me to pose the hypothetical questions that have been bouncing around my brain for years and even offered hypothetical solutions that weren't sarcastic and really helped me.
As the sun was setting, there was a small pod of dolphins that were swimming around, and we could see their dorsal fins cresting. It was beautiful, and the breeze was blowing and the sunset was creating an unfathomable canvas of reds, oranges, pinks, yellows and blues in the sky and reflecting on the river as it lowered itself over the horizon. I didn't even think to bring my phone out to snap a picture, and in a way I'm glad I didn't. I was really in the moment, experiencing the beauty without a lens in between. I was enjoying how the light wind was swirling my hair around my face and how the water sounded so calm as it lapped against the bank and how truly accepted I felt in my journey towards finding my faith.
I think it's high time everyone tries to do this, experience some things in life without feeling like you have to be snapping pictures for Instagram or live tweeting the entire ordeal (although Jackie and I being attacked by a giant cicada on the walk back to her house would have made for some pretty hilarious tweets!) The point is, technology is nice. It's convenient, fun, and (let's be honest here) addicting. However, it doesn't take that much effort to slip your iPhone back into your purse and get into an experience 100% organically. Blog about it later, make a Facebook status about it later, but really let go of the little magic metal boxes and actually experience the experiences you are bragging about. They're more fun that way.