Sunday, June 2, 2013

Bonnie Update, Plus the Dilemma of a Photographer

Our beagle girl seems to be improving. We've been going on short walks this past week (sticking to the park). Yesterday we took our first regular-length walk, and Bonnie's second walk with her new harness. We had taken one short walk with the harness a week ago, which was definitely not a success - either Bonnie's back was still hurting, or she absolutely hated the harness, or she didn't like the very short route I was offering. In any case, she pretty much dragged her paws and refused to go anywhere.

But yesterday, she was fine - you would have thought she'd been using a harness forever:

Her nose was in excellent form

Sometimes I think I get carried away with picture-taking - on walks, or during family get-togethers. There is a fine line between taking so many pictures you become a spectator rather than a participant, and taking so few pictures that you have nothing to enjoy later.

This poem reminded me of this dilemma:
The Vacation
by Wendell Berry

Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.
He went flying down the river in his boat
with his video camera to his eye, making
a moving picture of the moving river
upon which his sleek boat moved swiftly
toward the end of his vacation. He showed
his vacation to his camera, which pictured it,
preserving it forever: the river, the trees,
the sky, the light, the bow of his rushing boat
behind which he stood with his camera
preserving his vacation even as he was having it
so that after he had had it he would still
have it. It would be there. With a flick
of a switch, there it would be. But he
would not be in it. He would never be in it.
(It also reminded me of a story from my mission. Missionaries, of course, are taught to record their experiences in a journal. But when I arrived in Ecuador, the elders talked with amazement of a sister missionary who - to hear the elders tell it - constantly wrote in her journal. They tried to imagine what she was writing. "Here I am sitting, writing in my journal. Nothing is happening right now, but I am still writing. Still writing... still writing... still writing..." I wonder if this non-stop-journaling sister really existed!)


  1. The poem reminded me of a constant battle in our family -- the kids always want to take pictures wherever we go. On our recent trip to DC, there were tussles all the time about whether he or she could take pictures of this or that, and I finally suggested they might want to stop and actually SEE something rather than just photograph it.

    That said, I do appreciate those who take pictures, because I do not, and still I like to look at pictures later.