Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Daily Snapshots

I have been thinking about one of my all-time favorite movies lately when I find myself tiring of writing this blog everyday. The movie is Smoke, written and co-directed by novelist Paul Auster, which came out way back in 1995.

The thing I have been recalling from the movie is how the main character, Augie, takes a snapshot from the same spot in front of his smoke shop in Brooklyn at the same time, everyday. He puts all the photos into an album and at first glance, they all look the same. But as another character, Paul, examines them more closely, he sees that there's a lot of things that he wouldn't normally see taken from that same vantage point every day. As he flips through the pages of the album he sees that the camera caught a fleeting photo of his wife, who was killed a couple of years earlier, in it's frame. You can imagine the effect that seemingly insignificant photo had on him. The whole movie is structured the same way, as snapshots of people's lives, and what happens to them in those day to day moments. If you haven't seen it, you should. And if you have seen it, you should see it again. I plan to.

I guess that's the way I view this blog. I've been looking back on all the entries (178, to be exact) since I started in September, and at first glance they seem like just a long list of the random things I do everyday. And then, on closer examination, I realized that what I do from day to day, not only in my special moments, are my life. I even feel like Augie at times because now I always carry a camera with me to capture something to put on the blog. Before this I never had pictures of my kids eating lunch at Wendy's, drinking Slurpees in the back of the car, or walking along a curb. Of course there are a lot of remarkable moments that happen along the way, but through writing all this down, I'm finding that those day to day moments become just as important as the uncommon ones once they've past. This, of course, became painfully clear when I lost over two years of family photos in my recent computer crash (by the way, the hard drive is completely lost, we just heard back from the people trying to restore the data the other day). One consolation through that painful experience was that at least I had written the blog, and saved some of the photos in the process. Documenting the daily activities of my life may seem silly, or self-indulgent, or just downright boring, but this little exercise of writing at least one thing down every day is teaching me to value my personal snapshots, and through this I'm learning to appreciate and honor my life more and more.

So I plan to carry on, even when I'm bored, and even if no one bothers to read it. But if someone does, and feels at all inspired to do so, may I suggest you do the same, whether it be on a blog or a more low-tech, personal way, and see how it changes the way you view your life, from your own tiny corner of the world.


Alison said...

Laura, I love that movie too. Its just one of the great things you've shared with me. I also enjoyed reading your thoughts and perspective about keeping a blog. I often think my blog entries are silly and insignificant but they are usually moments I need to preserve for Ivy and Oliver. I've loved reading some of the cute moments you have been preserving for Jack over the past week or so - the green man, the airport, and Wendys...