I am not a historian. Nor do I want to be. There are plenty of people in the world who are wholly concerned with keeping track of the facts; however, I’ve always found facts to be nothing different than agreements by majority vote. Many times in my short life I have heard of, and seen, history rewriting its-self or facts changing. And in hindsight, the past is seldom recounted as what happened, but instead as what is remembered.
What we remember is not fact, nor can it be. All eyes see through different lenses. And the impression of even a defined sight is infinitely variable. A beautiful landscape can be painted in a thousand different styles, but should any one of those styles be more greatly valued than the other? Is it more important to portray how something looked? Or how it made you feel? A physical reality or emotional reality?
Very often I hear people share a dream and say, “the whole time I had no idea I was dreaming!” To me, this is explainable. It is because there is little difference between living in a dream and being awake. In both situations everything happening is in your head.
This is not supposed to be an inspirational message having to do with following your dreams. Or a bland mantra such as, “If you can dream it you can do it!” Such meaningless statements should be reserved for fortune cookies. It is a perspective on why I believe nothing is definite. And how I often justify bending the “facts” to share what I think, see, smell, touch, and hear.
Out of all the pictures I’ve ever shared, the skies were never as vivid when I released the shutter. Nor does my friends or my skin glow – as it often seems to do. I imagine that the dramatic contrasts between castle rocks and turquoise ocean-waters in many of my pictures were much less vibrant than I portrayed. Simply put, I believe that the subjects I share seldom reflect the subjects themselves – in their “real” nature, that is.
I’m fine with that. Never would I change it. Humans are not computers exchanging data, we are beings sharing emotions. Telling someone the latitude, longitude, altitude, climate, color, age, and name of a destination, accompanied by a cell phone taken snap shot, will make any story completely impersonal – and often indistinguishable.
When a person sees a picture of mine, or reads about an experience I’ve had, my goal is to have them feel as I did at that time. Never before have I worried whether the pictures I take, or words I write, are accurate representations of the nouns they pertain to. Only do I worry if they accurately express how I felt at the moment in time I’m attempting to share. By focusing as so, I hope to share emotions, not facts; and stories, not pictures.
In the future, never would I want to look back on my works and believe that a Google search would more accurately spark a memory. Or look at a picture, only to remember how awkward I felt while smiling for it. I want to remember how I saw myself, while racing down cliffs in Montenegro, gazing into the clear Grecian skies, or bathing in the mineral rich mud of the Dead Sea. How I felt during those experiences is what’s meaningful. And the memory of them would be greatly dulled if I felt obliged to record them in a way considered “realistic”.