I cannot find the USB cable for my camera. It astounds me how annoyed this makes me — the idea that I have to wait and do some searching in order to load onto my computer photos I can perfectly well see on the camera itself.
Remember when we used to have to develop pictures? I know I’m not the first to have this epiphany about how the speed of things has changed, but it really struck me just now. I went to look for the USB cable n the basement, where on top of our IKEA office center is a broken hand-blown glass ball, something I got in Nuremberg in 1993. My then-boyfriend/now-husband and I separated for a short while one afternoon to get each other gifts, and, if I remember correctly, the ornament is what he bought me at the Christkindlmarkt. It broke just a few months ago because I had it hanging precariously on something I didn’t think was precarious. Just like that, it was in pieces, after 17 years. But I’m still keeping it.
When I was on that 6-month study abroad my junior year in college, I did not develop any of my photos. I kept all my rolls in one place for months. Well, I can’t remember if I toted all of those photos of my homestay in France and my travels with LJ with me during my last month of travel or if I sent them home with LJ, who was two years ahead of me and had already done his study abroad and graduated. I might have had him give them to my parents to develop while I snapped my way across Europe.
What I do know is that I did not constantly look at images of things I had experienced. I waited until the events were long past, when it was too late to take any second shots. And by which time I had forgotten about the rainbows in Vichy or about why a particular bottle of beer seemed so significant. The moments were special at the time, and I relished the anticipation of waiting to see the photos until I got back home.
There is part of me that longs for that lost sense of longing. The delay in waiting for a letter from the States. The planned phone calls home at specific times. All those pauses kids today are missing, I lament, with their anytime access to texts and tweets.
But now that I’m used to being able to download photos whenever — and seeing as I haven’t written a post with a photo in a while — and we just got back from vacation with family, I expect to be able to see what I was doing a few days ago up on my screen in seconds and be able to share the images with anyone I might be deluded enough to think wants to see them.
And somehow I’ve raised a son who, at age four, knows to ask me to take video of something he enjoys so that he will be able to watch it right away, and again and again later.
This is not the Waldorf way. This is not a way I’m completely comfortable with. But it’s where we are.