I love to take pictures.
I want to capture every moment that I can and sometimes I have to remind myself to live in the moment first before I actually pick up the camera. It’s a compulsion.
My desire stems from looking at all the faded photographs from my childhood. I’ve always loved flipping through old photos and hearing the stories that go with them. Even if I wasn’t there, I always imagine what life was like at the time, I love living vicariously through them. I want my children to feel the same. I need to capture these moments for them in hopes they value the past as much as I do. I want their moments captured so they never forget. Thus an obsession with photography is born.
I clog up my Facebook and Instagram with photos, but they are nothing compared to the thousands of photos I save to disc with the promise that one day I will print them off. I want to create books upon books of memories for my children, grandchildren and beyond.
Even with this obsession of mine, there are times where I have been so caught up in the moment that things don’t get caught on film and you know what? It turns out I am okay with that.
One such event took place on a vacation to Cuba a few years ago. My husband and I were taking in the night entertainment while sipping drinks on the patio. There was a ‘Music’ trivia contest and for every answer you got right, you earned a marble. We just watched and didn’t have much desire to participate…… at first. Halfway into the contest the host said “Whoever comes up here and sings the first verse of this song from ‘Grease’ earns five marbles.”
My hand shot up so fast and (funny enough) I was the only one brave enough to volunteer. Little did the host or the crowd know that performing happens to be a much missed (longed for) past time of mine and Grease just so happened to be a musical that I performed with my old theater group back in the day. My husband knew what was coming. He just grinned, shook his head and sipped his rum and coke.
I smiled sweetly and accepted the microphone.
Spot light on me.
All eyes on me.
The music started.
I started to sing.
Oh I was home. THIS was my comfort zone. The stage has always been where a big chunk of my heart is.
It was to be just ‘one verse’ but as I approached the end of the first verse the host urged me to keep going. So I did.
I threw myself into it. I was ‘Ram-a-lam-a-laming’ the crap out of that song, even pulling out some of the old choreography (and why not? I was never going to see these people again) The place was silent with the exception of catcalls. Passersby stopped, people came out of the plaza, they were coming out onto their balconies.
In that moment I was a star again, all eyes on me.
When the song finished, the crowd went wild and it really dawned of me how much it had grown!
The host said “Well, I think we just figured out who starred as Sandy once upon a time” (Not true, I was the understudy for Patty Simcox and chorus eons ago)
I earned about eight marbles for that one performance.
The crowd was deafening. They were chanting my name. They wanted more and so, when another musical sing off came up, I didn’t even volunteer, they cheered me on so I took the stage again. Performed some Abba. Earned more marbles.
The end of the contest finally came and I had 12 marbles in my hand. I had tied with a lady from Argentina who had dominated the trivia portion of the night and all I did was sing twice.
It came down to a dance off between us.
Guess who won by a landslide?
That’s right. You’re reading her story.
No, you aren’t going to see any photos or video of this event. It was the one night we had forgot to bring a camera with us. I wish it had been captured because it was the first time in a very long time I had felt like my true self again. My husband and I still talk about it, just this past weekend he was entertaining friends with that story.
The lesson here to be learned is this: On that patio, at that Cuban resort, I lived an amazing moment. Sadly it may not have been caught on film (at least not mine) but that memory will live on and on and forever be a special one for me for the rest of my life.
I had that one chance to feel like my old self again and it was amazing.
Sometimes you need to forget that camera, don’t stress about anything but seizing that one special moment.
Some memories will never fade.