In most gatherings I am a part of, my usual role is “observer.” I love watching interactions, feelings, and reactions as they rise to the surface, expressed by others and then like the ball in a pinball machine, bounce from face to face and back to the one who sent it off in the first place.
I also enjoy taking pictures, hoping to catch moments that I just described in their glory. At (in)RL this last weekend I was trying to get a good shot of our group, but from an angle where I couldn’t really tell if we were all in the picture or not. Some mistakes tell great stories, like I think this one does.
The camera was sitting on a mantle, and over the mantle was a large mirror. So as the hostess and I tried to set our timers and frames, our friends ignored the cameras and responded to their faces in the mirror. I may or may not have snapped a few frames as they talked and laughed just to see what I could get. Be an observer with me; what do you see? What do you feel?
I see fun; forgetting ourselves and goofing around, belly laughs, and a record of that toss-your-head-back-and-laugh kind of joy.
I didn’t get a good shot of our group. To top it off, I had the realization the next morning that I completely forgot about the fancy swivel screen that my camera has, which would have made it possible for me to see exactly what picture I was taking. Doh!
Being a part of groups like this is not the easiest thing for me. Because of a smear campaign and a divorce, staying in community for the last number of years is something I have craved and avoided at the same time.
I’ve decided that none of that matters. I need community, community needs me.
I’m thankful for the chance to join this community, to learn from others, and to watch joy bounce off the faces of my new friends. Thanks, (in)RL!