I take too many pictures. I am fully aware of it. My phone has finally given up and just leaves a notification on my screen permanently to remind me that my “storage is full” and I should really start to think about deleting some pictures or apps. Apps, I always choose apps. I deleted Twitter today. I can always catch up on tweets from my laptop, right? More important are the 8 pictures I took of a tree a few days ago and the ones of the shadow on the sidewalk the day before.
This morning I took ten pictures. Three out of the windshield of the car, trying to show off the Chicago skyline (but it’s really just a dashboard and some sun glare). Two were of my friends shoe. Five were of my friend being goofy (against a brick wall, of course). None of them are something remarkable, but I have no intentions of deleting them.
Yesterday I took seventeen pictures. Five were of my friend reading a book in a bookstore. Two were an areal shot of the same thing. One was just books on a shelf, I think that one was accidental. Four were inside a doughnut shop. Three were looking down my dorm hall. Two were of the mail I got in my box that day.
I don’t really know what it is about a shot of my mail, or the drive through the city, that makes me refuse to claim back the memory space on my phone. I am obsessed with photos. People think I’m obsessed with Instagram, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Behind every photo I post (which is a lot, like one a day) there is probably twelve other ones that didn’t make the cut.
I’m ridiculous, I know, the way I try to save these pictures. The way I try to save these moments. There’s no way I’ll ever have time to go through these memories, the way my shoes looked against the pavement on Sunday or the sunshine on my dorm plants or my friend laughing over breakfast. Will I even care about the blurry shot out the train window in three days? Probably not. But it’s there, just in case.
There’s been studies done that say when you take a picture of something, it makes it less likely that you will remember it. Your mind somehow treats your camera like an external memory drive. Not sure how true that is. I would disagree, but I’m not one to talk since I have terrible memory anyway.
The picture above is my friend in the bookstore. We spent an hour or more reading the backs and inside flaps of books and listening to the train pass by every eight minutes. I had to edit the crap out of the picture and it’s still really awful. I like it.
I don’t know how to understand the world. I’m constantly trying to twist my views to cram the whole wide world into them until it all makes sense. I’m definitely not there yet. But when I see my life in mundane snapshots, I somehow get a clearer view of who I am and what I’m doing. And that’s at least one piece of the puzzle.
I’m sitting in my campus’s empty coffee shop, trying to make myself start on an article I’m suppose to write for the paper. I’m only creative when I’m not suppose to be, I think. Like when my friend hates pictures so I take one of her shoe instead. Or when I scribble lines of terrible poetry in class. Or when I take fifteen pictures in a day that all go unseen.
I’m so lucky to have fifteen things I want to take a picture of.
The sun is glowing through this window here and hitting my keyboard just right. I might take a picture.