Tuesday, December 30, 2014
There is nothing more depressing than a pile of post-Christmas morning, unwrapped gifts. This is largely due to my belief that there is a Schrödinger's cat quality to wrapped gifts. They hold so much more promise wrapped than they do unwrapped. It's not that I'm not happy with the gifts themselves once they are unwrapped. It is more the excitement they hold before you unwrap them and lose the mystery.
I think most of life is like that. The promise is always more intriguing than the ultimate reality.
But I am just wallowing in the after the holiday blues. It's the seam between Christmas and the New Year that gets me the most. The old year is crawling out the door and the New Year is smacking it on the butt screaming, "WooWoo, it's my turn!" Little does it know that it's time to whoop it up is going to be briefer than it can imagine.
I'm just of the age where the new year's blur into the old year's more and more. Other than the year I got married and the year's my kids were born, I couldn't tell you what happened in any given year since 1990.
The main way I keep track of the past anymore is through photographs. For the most part, digital photos have the date and time information embedded in the files (unless you forgot to set the camera calendar like I did a few times in the early days of digital photography). The problem with digital photos is keeping track of which portable hard drive, cloud or old laptop any given year is kept.
Another challenge with keeping track of time through photographs is that they are generally taken at the traditional times when people gather for the holidays. So we too often end up measuring time in snippets of posed shots around the Christmas tree or toasting at the dinner table.
Though Smartphones are changing this. It is now easy to simply snap a photo of what you are eating or your desktop, that Instagram is clogged with captured bits of the mundane gaps of life that fall outside of holidays. But they are artistically filtered bits of the mundane.
I think that our lives move so fast anymore that we need to snap photos to see what we've missed. It also freezes our youth (and documents our aging). But the irony is that we now have access to so many photos and videos of our lives that we don't really have time to view them.
Let's hope we have access to the cloud in the afterlife.