Saturday, March 30, 2013

Thoughts from the Garden

A beautiful Saturday afternoon and my husband, James, and I head out for a visit to the New York Botanical Garden without any of our offspring (who plead indifference, or boredom at the prospect of an outing with Mom and Dad). It's a bittersweet era in this current chapter of parenthood- our children are pretty reluctant to do any thing with us besides go out to dinner, go shopping, or go on vacation. But I digress.

We made our way to the Bronx and immediately upon entering the garden's beautiful grounds, the spectacle of documentation was everywhere. Since the advent of digital cameras, and phones with excellent capture ability, this picturesque locale means being surrounded by people photographing the horticulture, the outdoor sculpture installation, one another, and the fascinating orchids on display in the conservatory.

It's clear that it is no longer enough to merely see. There's an urgency to make memorable images as a record of the time spent. And I, although fascinated by the amazing installation of tropical flowers, was more in awe of the relentless documentation happening all around me. I once thought that Americans were a people of doers and achievers, and now I feel we have become a nation obsessed with committing to digital memory everything and anything that happens. Watching and recording has surpassed engagement as the pinnacle of existence.


  1. It's true - people always have some kind of device in front of their faces - and are missing life as it happens around them. I noticed this when my kids were younger and scrapbooking was a big thing at that time. Always trying to get photos for the memory books instead of experiencing the moment in the moment. I take far less photos than I used to on vacation etc. and try to live in the moments. Your photos above capture this perfectly. Over time I have realized the photographs that I cherish the most are of people who matter to me, not photos of scenery or flowers etc.

    As always I enjoy your blog - keep up the good work!

  2. Hi Penelope,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on my posts and for the kind words. I truly appreciate i!