At the time of writing this, the late day light is beautiful. The sun appears fire-hot, as if some great god is burning a hole in the sky with his cigarette from the space side. There is a line of pink clouds that resembles some kind of meteorological toupée set carelessly above the burn. I could have taken a picture of this with my phone, posted it, and that would have been that. I wouldn't have had to describe it at all, but frankly, I take terrible pictures, so would have likely fallen short of my honest intent to share the thrill: My picture would have failed to convey the sacred feeling sparked by the ethereal cigarette. You would have been bored and compelled to scroll past the shot with barely a pause. The only benefit of the process would have been the meagre amount of your time I wasted.
Why bother at all?
This phone business was getting stupid. I would find myself, in whatever scenario I was in, let's say I met Mr. Tumnus, the faun from Narnia, focused, not so much on his attention, but on how I could take his picture and post it on Instagram. Then, I would be trying to compose a clever line to support the post. In all of this planning, I would miss Tumnus's words; his invitation for me to join him for dinner. Yes, I might get some acknowledgement from the internet world, but I would eat dinner alone. My chance of having some fantastic faun sex ruined by my blinkered, misplaced energy spent on a picture that, despite the phone's ding, doesn't really exist.
I realize, here on the door sill of 2018, that much of this, the ways that I want my interactions to go, –my time spent, is up to me. I would like nothing more than a string of holy moments this year; meaningful connections, one after another. It's time, but how can I have a holy moment with Mr. Tumnus if I look away from him because I'm fussing with my phone? I can't. It's that simple. For me, to try to take a picture of him, or the sunset, or the super moon, actually degrades the intimacy of the moment, and everybody loses. I am much better off bathing in the moment, then, later on, describing the view with words if I feel moved to share. Sure, I can take a quick shot of Tumnus for proof, but there would be little about the work that would move you. I could take a quick shot of you for proof too, but I'd much rather see you, gaze at you, fully take you in. And Mr. Tumnus, well –
I've decided to leave the art photography to the photographers. I may still take quick shots of oddities: an elevator full of snails, a scale cole-slaw sculpture of a giraffe, a shaggy-headed faun the morning after, but no more attempts at pictures of natural beauty. I'm going to be selfish and enjoy the thrill, whatever it is, with rapt attention. Luxury. For me, I think a description with words is miles better than any picture that I could take with my phone. Plus, I might get lucky!