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Friday, October 28, 2011

The difference between observing our lives and living them.

Hilary puts it beautifully in this essay. Read it all.

I have the same problem, taking pictures of my kids' activities instead of merely watching them. Sure, they're great keepsakes. But was I fully there? A good question.

This is probably why we are so irritated with tourists who take pictures of everything in sight. We instinctively know there is something wrong with it. I stopped taking pictures several times in Florence because I realised I was trying harder to save Florence for later than I was trying to actually be there at the time.

It is only in the here and now that life can actually be lived. When you are thinking about doing an act of charity or committing a sin, you aren't actually doing it. The act itself is the meritorious or culpable thing, not the contemplation of it. Humans in the West have been retreating from The Real for a long time. The reason Twitting is so popular is that it offers us a new way of doing what we have been doing for decades, pulling back and becoming observers rather than participants.


  1. This is the kind of thing that makes me feel better about not taking many pics or hardly any video of my kids. I heartily concur - be in the moment.