It was one of those “JAPAN IS SO CRAZY LOL!!” stories from the otherday where mourners at a funeral were asked to please refrain from taking pictures of the deceased on your cellphone.
I had to ask myself why a photo? Why then? A death in the family used to be an important enough event that you didn’t have to commemorate it with a photograph to grasp the significance of it. You say your grandma died? Yeah, well, I’ve still got work on Monday.
When faced with a deluge of disparate, disjointed moments throughout life, it’s hard to keep track of what happened when, or whether it even happened at all. I’m pretty sure I went to Toronto, but I don’t feel any different as a result. Did I really go? I completely forgot that my girlfriend last October made me a cake for my 30th birthday. Without photographic proof, did either of these things really happen?
Maybe we take photos so at the end of our lives, we can go back and sift through all the moments we didn’t stop to appreciate at the time, a snapshot reminding us of a moment we were supposed save in our hearts, saved instead on a memory card. An experience that we were so busy capturing we forgot to, y’know, experience it.
(Incidentally, I can’t find the original camera phone story on Reuters… am I remembering it, or just making it up?)