Friday, July 1, 2011

Vacation: Documenting v. Experiencing

Unaware of Husband's documentation.

                    "But it was more than that,
More even than her voice, and ours, among
The meaningless plungings of water and the wind,
Theatrical distances, bronze shadows heaped
On high horizons, mountainous atmospheres
Of sky and sea.
It was her voice that made
The sky acutest at its vanishing."

Wallace Stevens, from "The Idea of Order at Key West"


A handful of sea shells, some from the Atlantic and some from the Pacific.

Husband's shrewd eye for pictures, my selective pocketing of sea shells and ticket stubs--innocuous documentation of time well-lived.  A certain amount of capturing and collecting optimizes memory keeping, but I'm skeptical of the frenzied photographer and, especially, the fanatical videographer.  Too much time behind the lens shifts the focus from reveling in the moment into an abstract editorial mode.  If extreme, this disconnect blushes inauthenticity over everyone else's experience.  Still, a little proactive documenting makes for scrapbook pages to savor when vacations are distant, for a pocket full of sea shells to discover while running errands.  

How do you balance experiencing your travels with documenting them?

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