Ireland did not disappoint. Its name of “Emerald Isle” is well deserved for the many stretches of luxuriant green fields and hills, the abundant trees. Then there is the additional beauty of rivers, streams, and waterfalls, and stone walls. History abounds not only in the cities but in the countryside.
For many years I had wanted to go to Galway Bay and “watch the sun go down,” and I did this. But would you believe it? That is exactly when my camera malfunctioned and reinforced a significant life lesson: “Don’t be so busy taking pictures that you fail to take the moments deep into your being.” Luckily, at the time, I was thinking, “My eyes will have to take the pictures and store them in my mind.”
Interestingly enough, a column by Jeff Jacoby in the Boston Sunday Globe yesterday (10/4/2015) dealt with this exact subject. He begins with a quote from Paul Theroux, world traveler, originally from Medford, my hometown. According to Theroux, “Without a camera, you study a thing more carefully and remember it better. Taking a picture is a way of forgetting.”
Linda A. Henkel, a psychology professor at Fairfield University, claims that when we rely on photographs we are “Outsourcing our memories.” She developed an experiment to test this hypothesis, and it showed a “photo-taking-impairment effect.” She found, “The act of photographing the object appears to enable people to dismiss the object from memory,” relying on the camera to remember it for them.
Jacoby concludes his piece, “I’d rather focus on the moment, not on the shot.” Luckily I did, and hopefully I’ll remember this in the future.
Home again, home again jiggity jog. [Reference to an old Nursery Rhyme]
Dorothy C. Judd 2015
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