Recently I attempted to get a number of people on Face book to do something all at the same moment. Maybe you were one of those people. At the time I thought this little project up, it seemed so very simple a thing to do. Basically at best, maybe 30 seconds of their time to accomplish the first phase of the project. The project or assignment was to agree to take 2 photographs, one of the sky (left to their interpretation of what would be included) and then right after that picture to take one of themselves with the sky in the background. Seems simple right? I requested that they all post the pictures and then just tag me so that I could see them, and then be able to copy them to my computer to work on a slide show.
There is difficulty sometimes in getting a message across clearly. Many who saw the original request I thought, had a good idea of what was expected. I even gave those in a different time zone a link (given to me by someone) to find the right time in their time zone. Others came into the request later, when comments would be made about the upcoming event, which apparently peaked their interest. This led to more questions, why was I doing it, what was expected of them? As the questions came I could see a level of stress rising up. The fretting began, as some realized it would be at a time they would be asleep, or it was dark, so what was the point of taking a picture of blackness, or they had camera issues, and or they would have trouble remembering to do it. These were among the top issues. A few seemed to agree to do it, but it appeared to be drudgery. People became worried about the 2nd picture. They feared looking terrible mostly, maybe feared looking silly or maybe a fear of what ulterior motive I had. I’m not really sure why all the worry started boiling up. I know I said on more than one occasion not to fret, not to worry, this was all just for fun. It was so simple a request I thought, just 2 pictures. I didn’t feel like I begged anyone to do this. I made it an event for people to say, yes, no or maybe. I set this up so it would be easy to message everyone, to remind everyone. I did comment how intrigued I was that some chose quickly not to participate. Was that they really didn’t want to do it, or did they just want to stop getting the posts. I know I’ve opted out of events for that reason. I was curious as to why this had, something I thought so simple, become so difficult a task for so many people. I hadn’t asked anyone to send me money or do something that would cause themselves or someone else bodily harm. I hadn’t even requested that they were required to go outside to take the picture. It could have been taken from a window, although I didn’t state that, but I also didn’t say, go outside and take a picture. I said, “Take a picture”.
It was an activity that was meant to be fun, just something to do on an otherwise, for me anyway, ordinary day. My only ulterior motive was giving myself something happy to think about instead of being sad at missing my Mom, every other minute of the day. I explained, I thought to everyone, that it’s about the MOMENT, not about the quality of your pictures, REALLY not about the picture. A feeling, an attitude, a MOMENT to think of someone else, someone you may or may not know, doing the exact same thing that you are at the exact same MOMENT. Maybe some were in the same town, same yard even, or another state, or even another country. Take 30 seconds of your time to embrace the moment THINKING of others and know you are doing something so very simple. Personally I went outside and climbed up on the new fence about 3 minutes early to get myself and my son ready to do it, but as I sat there waiting, watching my clock, giving Aden the count down, I spent the time thinking of all those people who said they were going to do it, and those who hadn’t responded at all, and those that said, “no”, and knowing there were people at that moment preparing as I was to take a picture of the sky.
I hope in the end that it WAS fun, that people GOT it, got that it wasn’t about the picture. I didn’t care what the picture looked like, or how bad the quality, or even how dark it was. What I hope is for that very moment we were all thinking about EVERYONE else. Thinking about something besides our own problems, our own hurts and our own grief, because I forgot for the moment how sad I was. For that moment, I smiled and my heart jumped a bit in anticipation in the thought of everyone that was willing to do this, for me, for everyone else and yes even for themselves. A moment in our otherwise, busy, hectic, or mundane, boring, or sad, grief filled days. I hope any stress I may have caused on this simple project has dissipated and next year on December 7th at 4:30pm I hope some of you will remember that feeling of anticipation, that feeling of spirit and connectedness. Happy Christmas everyone.Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the written material and photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JL The Turtle and The Accidental Thoughts of a Turtle blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.