Sometimes you want to take a picture, capture how the morning light looks filtering through the trees; your cooled skin; the sound of birds.

But you can never smell the air in that photo. You can't look around to see the rest of the world from that spot you stood, capturing a split second of light.

The only way to remember it is to sit for a while; feel it as deeply as you can; accept that it'll never be as good as it is right now.

@matt awesome post. It brings to mind something that happened yesterday: I am part of a group leading an ongoing documentary story project with 30 high school students. A presenter yesterday is a sound engineer. He talked about his practice of going to a location ahead of time to listen. He walks around, takes in all the sounds he hears. Of course he's doing it for technical reasons, but he says it helps him understand and notice and observe and he does it even when he's not working.


@gg Love that. I find those moments are rare, when I can truly listen to / observe the world without the din of thoughts drowning out my senses. Many times it takes a conscious effort (or even a pretense like some technical work) to get there.

This makes me want to play sound engineer when I'm out in the world, to have an excuse to pay attention and listen more.

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@matt truly. The context of the presentation was offer tips on how to capture strong sound, to ensure that the place is right for an interview, say, or ways to capture ambient sounds to define the place, the mood or the story. Which was a bingo moment to me, and the kids, that is that just thinking about location -- where does the story reside? what does it look like? sound like? -- helps focus the story, so rather than "What's the story?" but "Where's the story?" An interesting discipline.

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