The bigger picture.
My childhood memories begin to get really fuzzy anytime prior to the seventh grade. Oddly enough, it’s probably the not-so-great memories that stick in my head better than the rest; like the time I got beat up by the kid from the wrong side of the tracks with a pillow polo stick (yes, a pillow polo stick can hurt). Being a photographer, I have cheated my kids out of fuzzy memories because I have captured so many of them that would have otherwise been forgotten over time. When I see an experience amounting into what would be considered a pinnacle memory, my lens and my concentration becomes uber focused. I have come to really respect the value of these moments.
Today, Kate ran the 800 meter at a track meet. She doesnt hide the fact that she is the family’s more reluctant runner. In this home, we are keenly aware that she could quite possible read 1000 pages faster than any of us could run a marathon. It’s her passion. But on this raw day, she put the book down so she could make strides off the pages of a book. There were no throngs of people cheering; the people that were there, just wanted to be in their cars with the seat-heater on. As a photographer, I wouldn’t have characterized it as a pinnacle picture type of day, but I have learned to stay aware. The top runners would leap ahead and there would be no exciting photo finish with my daughter breaking the tape first. Nonetheless, Kate would finish and I would cheer like she had just medaled in the Olympics. In my mind, the crowd roared even if everyone else around me just sat shivering as the rain started to fall. Kate’s coach, knowing the girl, approached my reluctant runner and hugged her whole-heartedly. The pinnacle moment had come, so I snapped the shutter. In that moment, an affirmation of one’s abilities was realized and rewarded in the form of a hug. Once again, I realized that the most photo-worthy moments don’t usually happen during the show-stopping high note; you need to look for the nuance that gets to the heart of the matter. While this memory would have grown fuzzy over passing time, it’s now locked in and justified in life’s bigger picture.
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