Blurry (20221028)

Have you ever taken a photograph of a memorable moment only to discover it turned out blurry? In the old days of manual SLR cameras, pocket Kodak film cameras, and Polaroid cameras, it was all too common to take photos, get them developed, and then end up tossing them in the trash because they were too blurry to make out the scene, people, or event. So much film developing effort, mere trash.

Now we have “graduated” to smartphones, and EVERYBODY is photographer. Instead of a roll of 12, 24 or 36 pictures, we now have thousands ands thousands of photos. We sometimes take so many, we forget to look back at them. So, they sit on a memory card or in “the cloud” until…well, forever because no one has time to sift through the chaff of bad shots.

Sometimes I feel life is like that.

Oh yeah, there is the obvious blur of too much alcohol leading to next day hangovers, regrets, and “what happened.” But we hopefully learn from those cases and keep things under better control (or not) in future imbibing.

What strikes me today are the blurry pictures we have in our minds about past events, people, places, and yes, even the blurriness of anticipated futures. Unfulfilling arguments with others on what happened when, who said what to whom, and perceived slights by others whether by intent or omission stack one blurry shot on top of another until no one really knows what happened (unless there happens to be photographic or video proof 😉 ).

Some people are “blessed” with crystal clear, crisp memories of their life: where they lived, who their friends were, what they did for fun, who their teachers were, their favorites subjects (and why) and so on … and then there are those of us who have a snapshot past. A mental picture here or there, a real or imagined scene from their past (did I really have a doctor visit our home at night to give us shots?), a stand-out incident or person (inspiration from a Chemistry/Physics high school teacher), a location embedded in the deepest corner of our memory (lakeside living – turtle, tadpole, frog, crawdad, and fish catching!), opaque memories of conversations (uh, did I really say that?!), and a general lack of fuzziness goes hand in hand with all my memories.

It’s not that I have forgotten things. It’s that I have the tendency to live in the moment, in the here and now, and things that happened long ago begin to lose focus without a continual interaction. I imagine it’s like animals do it…focus on the dangers and food requirements of right now and a forgetfulness (lack of awareness) of things past (have you ever seen a dog run so fast they bounce, head-first, into the wall, then shake it off and continue their play forgetting all about the pain and suffering of trying to go through the wall?).

So, here’s a tribute to all of the people and events I have experienced but have been caught in the web of a cloudy past – you are appreciated. Here’s a note of sadness for all the regrettable moments looping through our minds today – oh, the bouts of shouldva’s, couldva’s, wouldva’s. Here’s a word of thanks for the bit of clarity in remembrance – thanks to the geniuses who invented and keep on inventing photographic tools.

May all your memories be happy ones…whether contrived or real. May the issues and regrets of the past be buried in the past and made a bit blurrier. May the memory of those who have blessed you by their presence peek at your current life.

And may the blurriness of the rushed life lift like the morning fog.

…to be continued or maybe to remain a blurry post?

Living As NPC (20221027)

As defined by Business Insider ( ),

NPC is an acronym that stands for “non-player character.” A non-player character is a character in a game that’s not controlled by the person playing the game, nor by any sort of AI {Artificial Intelligence}. They’re not usually meant to act like real people.

In a “recent” movie titled, “Free Guy” Ryan Reynolds as an NPC becomes self-aware that he is in fact a non-player character. The movie shows his transformation as he becomes aware of the world around him.

And unfortunately, I sometimes feel like an NPC where actions are automatic or have become “normal” and are performed with little thought. One scene blends into another scene and life zips by without the realization of its passing. The “wake up-get ready-go to work-come home-eat-rest-go to sleep” loop plays forever with variances to the loop coming from children’s activities, volunteer hours, or self-improvement activities. But the loop remains…rebooted every morning as I begin another day as an NPC.

What is the take away; the answer to the NPC life?

Just like the movie, taking intentional time to reflect and become aware of life around me. Time to slow down the rapid-fire, daily routine to notice the little things and moments of grateful living.

It still costs me time, which is a limited quantity, but it alters the everyday loop and makes me no longer feel like a non-player character. It makes me feel more like the person who is playing the game and not reacting to the same-old-same-old.

So, here’s to breaking out of the loop and becoming a player and not remaining a non-player character!