Fleeting Moments

The other evening while walking my dachshund, Roxy, the sunset was stunningly gorgeous. There was a thick group of clouds coming in from the northwest, their tops heavy gray, their bottoms glowing purplish red. Would have made for a great picture for this blog post and social media if I’d had my iPhone with me. But I didn’t.

For a second I was disappointed and irritated that I’d left my iPhone at the house. But then I considered that what really irritates me is feeling that compulsion to digitally memorialize every moment, no matter how fleeting. It irritates me when at concerts folks are staring intently at their smartphone screens trying to record a crappy video that they likely will never watch instead of just enjoying the live performance in front of them. Instead of living in the moment, the moment of reality, the moment of actual experience, we’re trying to save it artificially for later in order to gain some online likes, shares and comments. Ugh.

I get it, the need and desire to record life’s important moments. And I’m not saying we shouldn’t at times attempt to do so. But here’s a thought: let some of life’s fleeting moments be just that. Fleeting. No picture, no video, no recording can ever truly capture what our eyes and ears and the rest of our senses can.

I guess what I’m trying to say is let’s live more in the moment rather than for the moment. Let’s experience life instead of feeling compelled to constantly document it, saving it for a later time we may not get around to experiencing.

‘Til next year.

Sunday Stroll

I took a Sunday stroll in the woods near our home.
I took a few photos.
Here they are.

A photo posted by Karl Whetzel (@unrelated.notes) on

A photo posted by Karl Whetzel (@unrelated.notes) on

To The Summit

This month the missus and I took a multi-day trip to the mountains of North Carolina visiting Blowing Rock and the summit of Grandfather Mountain. Having been raised near the Appalachians, being able to visit some of the higher points in this mountain chain was akin to a spiritual experience for me. We were fortunate that the weather was as near to perfect as could be with highs in the upper 70s accompanied by clear skies and low humidity.

I’ve included several photographs from our trip that in no way due the views justice. Frankly, the only way to truly appreciate the grandeur and the beauty of these mountains is to actually be there.

‘Til next time.

Going Analog

mmwcameraThose who know me would assume from the title of this post that I’m referencing synths. Typically, I would be. But not today.

During a recent purge of unused stuff from the house, I came across a couple of old cameras. You know, the kind that use actual film. One is a 35mm (with 3 unused rolls of 24 exposure film) and the other is a Polaroid 600 (for you youngsters, this is the original Instagram). Finding them stirred up some nostalgic feelings, so much so that I’ve decided that this Thanksgiving holiday, I’ll not only be taking photos using the trusty iPhone and DSLR cameras, but I’ll also be snapping some good ole-fashioned film pics. Granted, I’ll have to find a place that still processes 35mm film and (gasp!) wait an hour or several days for the pictures to be developed.

I’m actually most anxious to use the Polaroid camera. Having pulled it from storage I found that the film cartridge battery was dead rendering the camera unusable. So began the hunt to find where to buy replacement cartridges. Although Polaroid stopped making instant film in 2008, another company, Impossible Film acquired the last factory producing Polaroid instant film and began “The Impossible Project” to continue manufacturing film for the millions of Polaroid cameras still in existence. So now I’ve got my 8 shot cartridge and will be eagerly anticipating the “whirrrrr” of the camera as it ejects the squarish pic from it’s lower compartment.

I’m looking forward to going back to a 20th century method of taking pictures. There’s something about the tactility of the physicial medium that appeals to me. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not giving up digital photography at all. But for more artistic pursuits, I’m thinking old-school just may be the way to go.

Grateful Recap

Giving ThanksAs we enter a new year, there are several things from 2013 for which I’m thankful:

1. Being Alive. This year brought about an allergic reaction that I’d never had before that put me in the hospital for the first time in my life. I thought I was dying waiting for the paramedics to arrive and I had passed out by the time they arrived. My wife tells me that they were moments from intubating me, but thank God, He brought me through the entire experience. And surprisingly, the hospital food was quite good!

2. Paramedics, Doctors, Nurses, Hospitals, Health Clinics, etc. It’s rather obvious why I’m thankful for these individuals and institutions. 🙂

3. Family and Home. So thankful for the missus, our little menagerie of animals who’ve become a part of our family and a warm, cozy home.

4. Good Jobs. Both the missus and I are very blessed to have good jobs. During a time when so many are without a job, we feel very blessed and fortunate to be gainfully employed.

5. Music. I’m continually amazed at how music is not a static interest, but rather one where one’s relationship with a particular piece is always changing based upon one’s life experiences. And my taste in music seems to be ever-evolving. It’s something I didn’t expect to happen when I was younger. But I’m liking it so far!

6. Photography. 2013 brought about a new interest in photography as the missus and I were finally able to obtain a DSLR camera. This has opened up a creative outlet I’d dabbled in a little before, but hadn’t really studied in depth. I’m looking forward to learning to fully take advantage of the power of a DSLR camera and see what kinds of shots I can come up with.

Here’s looking to 2014 and all the things it will offer for which to be grateful. Happy New Year!