I love moment in a movie when the perspective shifts from one protagonist to another but both are observing the same event. There is also that game we played as children called the Telephone Game. At Shorty girls during summer recreation, they’d sit us all down in a large circle, easily 50 or more kids and the leader for the Shorties would whisper a secret into the first child’s ear. We’d go around the circle and by the time the secret returned, it was different. Photographs do some of the same things, they zip us back in time to captured fragments. You see a chair in the background or a long forgotten toy on the floor or or a favorite T-shirt and suddenly you’re standing inside the photograph and the memory is 3-dimensiional, tangible, organic. And in those moment, we remember parts of ourselves, parts we’d forgotten or parts we wish we’d never been reminded of. Sometimes we see a piece of ourselves we’ve abandoned, left behind…sometimes by accident, sometimes by command and sometimes intentionally. And then there are the pieces of ourselves we carefully boxed up with tenderness, hoping to protect things from time. We don’t want to discard them but we think we need to put them away, grow up, be serious except we stumble upon those carefully packed boxes chock-a-block full of tiny treasures and precious parts and we realize all of this stuff needs to be where we can see it and enjoy it. Yes, it’s always been there, packed away safe but when it’s packed away we can ignore it; we can ignore ourselves.
A dear friend asked me what was important to me and I answered her but since answering, I’ve spent more time really thinking about it and I have a solid answer. Awareness matters to me. Being aware allows you to appreciate beauty, be enthralled, get excited and be present. Being aware means you notice the wind, the sound of the train approaching, the lyrics of a song. Awareness means you can read your child’s face and see that they are worried about something or that your partner is trapped at a cocktail party with the Close Talker. Awareness encourages you to appreciate the now, this moment while respecting the past and anticipating the future.