Beauty and film

As I walked to work this morning, a dancing magnolia leaf caught my attention. I stopped to watch it gracefully twirl and circle in the breeze above its fallen sisters on the ground below. An invisible silken spider strand must have held it aloft. And I realized that I could not only see the leaf, but also the wind.

I stood there mesmerized for a few minutes, immersed in the present moment, and then my mind went elsewhere – should I walk home and get my camera?

This is a challenge for me. I always have the urge to capture beauty for my own. Not to trust my memory, or be willing to let the moment go forgotten. Then I decided that this moment would be diminished by a feeble attempt at video entrapment. I enjoyed it for another minute, then walked on.

I tend to think of these rare moments as “American Beauty” moments, after one of my favorite movie scenes. “Video is a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember. I need to remember.”

Then I thought of one of my very favorite artists, and how his photographs and videos bring me the beauty of his work, which I otherwise never would be privileged to see, and I am puzzled with the decision again…

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