To Be or To Record…

I’m either here now, or behind my phone/camera recording the here and now. Sure, there are many moments that I want to freeze in memory and/or share with loved ones far away. But the moment I take my phone/camera out to record it, I lose that very same precious moment. I’m not here now anymore, I’ve stepped out of the scene. I’m an observer, not an experiencer. I’ve separated myself from my reality and now I’m watching it as an outsider. It’s very ironic, we’re not living our lives in real time in order to live it as a memory. We’re so used to living in the past and/or the future instead of the present moment that we hardly ever see the irony or even feel the difference. The present moment is so valuable, precious and alive but we’d rather live it after it’s dead. As if what makes it special, its aliveness, is scary to us. We might actually feel, need to act or respond in real time. We can’t deal with the pressure of being present in our bodies; sensing, feeling, adjusting, expressing. We’d rather live the moment after it had passed, analyze it, think about it, talk about it but we can’t really do anything about it anymore because it’s already gone. “Oh well, I’ll live it in my head when I want”. Right? Wrong! We hardly ever go back and watch those wasted presents. Why? Because we’re busy recording new presents, that we’re also going to toss on the pile of “when I have time”.

The gift of being alive, here and now, in our bodies, in the present moment, feeling and reacting, had been beaten out of us as children by adults who were also deprived of inhabiting their bodies in the present moment. And we’ll continue the tradition of beating it out of future generations. Let’s live in our heads. Bodies are messy, dirty, dangerous, ugly. We’ll drug them into submission. We’ll force them into unnatural shapes and forms that suit our mind’s warped realities.
The end result is that we’re not living our lives. We’re watching ourselves living after the fact. Then we can make up in our heads how we want to react. Rewrite what doesn’t suit us. Live in our imagination. Isn’t that what virtual reality is all about?

Here are some special moments when I stepped out of my present in order to share them with you. Let’s relive them together…

#whatissreality #virtualreality #humannature #nature #travel #travelphotography #travellife #hereandnow #livinginthemoment #southafrica #kruger #krugerpark #safari #animals #birds #giraffe #kudu #lion #cat #impala #elephant #hornbill #cheetah #baboon #zebra #buffalo #treehouse #jungle #junglelife

4 thoughts on “To Be or To Record…

  1. Hi, I trust you are keeping well on your travels? You compelled me to respond on this one.
    Whilst I agree with much of your intended message and I agree that living in the moment (real time) is where we experience all our physical ‘reality,’ I feel there is more to this and a parallel ‘story’ (whether we are in our heads or not), runs alongside it but, it has become such a common cliché and criticism to say that folk who record the moment are effectively stepping out of it and somehow losing it, that folk will do so without really thinking. Apart from the fact that folk song and, later on, the written word, is how we preserved and passed on all manner of knowledge and such (whether ‘facts’ or myth – thus ‘expanding’ our awareness), as a recording engineer, it is the staple thing to do, to record all those pre-planned as well as unrepeatable spontaneous moments that often result in the greatest music albums we love, where that captured stream of moments then becomes the ‘definitive version’ that provides what would otherwise be unavailable, ongoing pleasure for countless folk who were not able to be there (and living memories for those who were). Although the food and perfume industries exist on the basis of employing similar ‘memory trigger’ circuits, recreating previously enjoyed ‘flavours,’ recording ‘in the moment’ per se is usually only available to most of us for sight and sound; taste and smell are usually more difficult to capture in the moment and touch is different again in most cases. It takes a mere second to ‘be prepared’ and press the record button and to continue experiencing the moment without interference from technology and we are perpetually in observing mode anyway. Phone recordings might be annoying to some folk at a concert or event, where all those masses of phones are ‘spoiling’ the view for those folk behind (and I feel that this is where the popularity to criticise it grew), but where live recordings were once done only for a ‘live’ album, most concerts are now recorded as a matter of cause but, outside of Zen practices, I see no problem in folk momentarily steooing out and wishing to capture the enjoyment for later, whether that be a landscape, sunset, flower, situation, sound or anything else – just like your own pictorial captured ‘moments’ – and besides, who else should oversee when and how another person ‘should’ enjoy any of their life anyway? I’m sure there’d be more to say, but it’s late and time for bed…xx


    1. Thank you! I agree. I don’t believe recoding is bad (obviously I do it a LOT). Balance is key. I’m pointing it out in the hopes that everyone may find their own balance.


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