Friday, September 11, 2015

The Comfort of Capturing Contentment

Yesterday, a friend asked why someone would post a picture of their dinner on Facebook.  We had a great discussion.

I think we post our pictures in part because our cell phones and tablets with camera power make it so easy.  Our devices can connect almost instantly with Facebook--push a button, and it's on the FB page.

I think it's also because Facebook has become a journal, a logbook, a diary/scrapbook for so many of us.  I do wonder if we'll be able to access that material in 10-30 years.  Of course, I have a box of paper journals in my closet--they're not real accessible right now:  I have to dig them out of the box and flip through them with no good search tools beyond my reading skills.  But I expect to still have them in 10-30 years, barring catastrophe like fire. 

I think people post pictures because they're having a moment of happiness that they want to capture.  I rarely see angry pictures.  That's in direct contrast to the online articles that people link to--so much anger.  I rarely click through.  But I do linger on pictures.

I thought about my own morning yesterday.  I decided to make a quiche for breakfast because I had some Swiss cheese that needed to be used.  I went out to our little garden and selected herbs--the herbs that we planted a few weeks ago are flourishing.  As I snipped the bright green herbs which fell on the grated cheese and sautéed mushrooms, I felt such a swelling of contentment.

In some ways, not much has changed since my vegetarian days--I still get lots of joy from my tiny garden and from cooking good food.  I still look forward to the arrival of friends.

Last night, I dreamed about my high school friend who died in February.  We were filling up sodas at a soda station before we went into a movie.  It was so ordinary, and I woke up wishing we had had a profound conversation in my dream.  But I was also comforted by seeing her again, even though I know it was a figment of my subconscious brain.

On this September 11, I have the fragility of life on the brain.  I take comfort from knowing that I will be remembered, at whatever time I am snatched away from this life.  I am content with the efforts that I have made to live a life that's in alignment with my values.

And yet, I know that the alignment will slip if I'm not paying attention.  I think that reason, too, is why so many of us post our pictures on Facebook--it keeps us in sync with ourselves and with the ones we love so deeply.

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