Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Let them eat cake
Family is a wonderful thing. My wife and kids make my world go around. No one else on the planet understands my peculiarities as well as they do. No one else quite gets what makes me predisposed to shooting the craziest vignettes of modern suburban life. No one else quite appreciates the weirdness that is me, and lets me get away with it day after day.
So we've been spending time visiting extended family in Montreal this past week, and one of my not-quite-immediate family members really ticked me off (yes, dear readers, I do get ticked off on occasion. Please don't be shocked) when he uttered this unforgettable phrase as I bent down to take another picture of another piece of cake:
"Don't you ever think you have enough stupid pictures of cake?"
Maybe it was the choice of words. Maybe it was the condescending tone of voice. Maybe it was both. Whatever, it bugged me.
I shrugged it off at the time, but the phrase stuck in my craw for a while. So I'm writing about it now - as I share another stupid picture of stupid cake.
Hindsight is always 20/20. We always come up with the brilliant retort hours or days after the events that incited them. Here's what I wanted to say: I guess I'll stop writing about things that interest me once I think I've got enough in the archives. I guess I'll put away my camera for good once I think I've taken enough pictures of the kids. I guess I'll stop recording the world around me because small-minded doofs would rather criticize my own pursuits than engage in their own.
Yeah, I'm ranting. Sorry.
Thinking rationally now, I will, in fact, never stop recording these seemingly "stupid" things. Film is cheap. Digital memory is infinitely cheaper. Come to think of it, so is a stack of pens, a lifetime's supply of ink, a cupboard full of paper pads, a laptop and an ever-bulging hard drive.
Memories, on the other hand, are precious and fleeting. What I choose to capture is pretty much up to me. Thank goodness I ignored this person's similar advice when I was younger. To think of all the fun I would have missed had I actually believed that creativity must come with a box around it.
Your turn: Do you let the opinions of others shape what you choose to capture and how you choose to capture it? Oh, and while you're at it, does this picture make you hungry?
One more thing: Expect more pictures of cake in future. And dogs. And little people. And flooded rivers. And...