This is happening. It’s happening right now. In a moment, in a breath, it will have happened. It will be over. Please don’t review it then. Please don’t scroll through the library brimming with pictures to dig out the newest one. Please don’t check the pixels to make sure the resolution is high enough and nothing is blurred. Please don’t cast your eyes down to the small screen of your phone and confine your vision to something that occurred a moment ago.
Please don’t take a video. Don’t hold your phone high to capture the moment. Don’t receive life via digital megapixels, no matter how high Apple or Samsung tell you they can make it now. The camera sits there on your phone, your tablet, like some terrible third eye. It’s dulling the sound and the color until you are left with some sub-par experience. You are preserving something in a way that it doesn’t deserve. Your life does not deserve to be frozen and displayed like a stuffed animal that was once breathing and is now caught still by taxidermy. It deserves your attention. It deserves your presence.
Please don’t save files on your computer that lie scattered and orphaned, like crumbs of a memory that have dried and desiccated on your hard drive. You took them for granted because you knew they would always be there. You allowed yourself to become lazy. You lost the urgency to remember. You told yourself you can always return to them when you need to. Please don’t let your mind become obsolete for storage.
Please live like you are going to forget. Please collect those wonderful, precious moments and put them in your pocket, knowing that the pocket is torn and they might slip out of your reach. Please hold them gently because they are fragile. They might blow away if you turn your head. They might die if you don’t give them your active attention. They have to matter enough to you for you to make that effort.
Over time, those memories will yellow. They will crinkle like the edges of a fine page and they will recede. Please remember things differently. Patches of your life will become a different shade of themselves. They will disorient their chronological order until they are a messy collage of important recollections. But they will have lived and taken form and moved as only living things can. And they will have become a part of you so you may do the same.