Life is so fluid that one can only hope to capture the living moment, to capture it alive and fresh .. without destroying that moment.
~ Anais Nin
I stand on the beach, far below my girls. My camera is trained on them as they make their way across the ridge overhead. Like a patient hunter, I stalk them, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
This is what I do. I document. I look through the lens and I choose what to remember – what to take with me when we leave.
I play with the zoom, my 55 x 200 lens making anything possible from where I stand.
Close … closer … now so close that I can see none of our surroundings, just my girls. Their bodies, their hands, their feet planted in the sand.
I hold the zoom now and move the camera.
Just their faces. One at a time.
Close … closer … closer still.
Their ever-changing expressions take turns filling the frame.
I zoom out completely.
I start again.
Farther … farther … so far now that they are almost afterthoughts – small specks in the glory of nature’s pageantry.
I take it all in from this angle – the gradations of the sand – the Pepper Black, the Cinnamon Brown, the Dirt-ish Grey, the Peanut Butter Beige. Katie’s named them all.
I edge in ever so slightly.
Now I see the landscape – the reeds swaying in the wind, the wildflowers urgently shouting their colors to the wind – Fuchsia! Magenta! – through the seagrass and the sand – all the colors of the sand – but so too I have caught the interplay between the girls.
This is what I do. I play with the light, the angle, the scene within the frame. I choose what to focus on. What to hold. What to share. What to leave behind.
I capture a moment of our lives within each frame.
And when I do, what I leave out is no less important than what I don’t.
As I show you the following pictures from our trip to Nantucket, I need you to know.
I need you to know that our lives are joyful and sweet and triumphant. That they are tender moments and loving sisters and glorious joint attention and so-intense-it-almost-hurts engagement and that they are moments of freedom and flight.
But I need to say out loud that there is more. That there is always more. That there is also what’s left outside the scope of the lens. Beyond the constraints of the edit. There’s more.
Because our lives are not two-dimensional. They can’t really be captured. And because they are real. And real is full and complicated and never, ever two-dimensional. And real means that there’s stuff that you won’t see. That you can’t see. It means that there’s stuff that a mother’s heart would never let her capture on film. That there’s stuff that happens long after the camera is put away – or when it’s dropped like a hot potato in a moment of pain or urgent need.
So please just know, there’s more.
But the *more* doesn’t make the *this* any less real.
And *this* is what I chose to take with me from Nantucket.