I take hundreds of photos every month, and most of them don’t get shared with anyone, let alone online. And yet the moments in time that those photos capture are just as important a part of our story as the other images that I do choose to share.
I originally created this blog as a way of documenting our lives, a way of watching the girls grow into who they’re going to be and a way of remembering who they once were. It’s something I want them to be able to look back on as they get older, because memories fade but (digital) photographs don’t. A legacy, of sorts.
It’s easy (and tempting) to only focus on sharing the fun bits, the memorable parts, the highlights and the celebrations. But I’m learning more and more as I continue through this crazy journey of motherhood and life that it’s really important to me that I capture the ordinary, everyday times that we spend together as well.
The pieces of the jigsaw that fill in the gaps to complete the picture.
The tantalising glimpses into who our girls are becoming.
The chaos, the calm and all the moments in between.
This monthly feature – The Moments In Between – is a space for me to share all of those magical and messy parts of our family life that would otherwise just stay in a folder on my laptop, never to see the light of day.
I didn’t even pick my camera up for personal work until over halfway through the month. As a consequence there are far fewer images in this post than there are in previous episodes of this project.
I found myself getting increasingly frustrated as the days passed me by and I’d still not captured anything. I have an almost compulsive need to document, well… everything. It’s so hard to describe how it feels – almost like an itch that never goes away no matter how much you scratch it. So to not have anything to show of our time together for almost three weeks was almost physically painful to me. Then I stopped myself in the middle of a silent rant berating myself for missing all those moments I wanted to record, gave myself a taking-to of a different kind and examined what was actually going on underneath.
If I’m really honest, I think it’s fear. Fear of forgetting things that are important to me, fear of losing people, fear of existing without leaving something for people to know me by and so much more besides. That fear manifested as a need to achieve a certain number of images each month – a target to hit – which is, of course, exactly what ended up taking all of the fun and authenticity out of it.
Why not just let things unfold? Why call it personal ‘work’ when really it’s just observing, noticing, seeing the world around me and all the beauty and joy it holds. That’s not work, it’s just life. Art. Me freeze-framing precious moments where I felt something, no matter what that feeling was. It doesn’t need to be labelled good or bad. It was what it was and it is what it is.
I think that’s been my biggest lesson this month. Letting things be and going with the flow. It makes a difference, this acceptance of what is. I’m hoping to carry it forwards throughout next month and beyond.
In summary, November was a month of mess sandwiched in between pockets of pretty light. We weren’t AT our best but we DID our best despite it all and I guess that’s what matters really.
This was us in November…