I've been wondering about where to start writing concerning this idea of curating for our own personal lives. But I finally decided this weekend to share about what has been on my heart: living a life worth curating.
Now, these words are not a commentary on what does and does not constitute art. It is not a judgement on how we each live our lives and how stylish or artistic or hipster we are, or try to be. Neither do the tools you use to capture your family, whether professional or amateur, iPhone or film, edited or not edited, matter here. These types of social assessments have no bearing on the value of taking the time to create art about your life.
That being said, here is what does truly matter: Time. Patience. Honestly. Intentionality. Love.
Rebecca Parker Payne wrote a beautiful piece in Volume Four of Kinfolk, entitled Undocumented Hours. Her words were beyond eloquent and really got me thinking about this idea of what in life is worth documenting and then curating for the future. What is worth remembering? Miss Payne addresses the idea that intimacy and beauty are created in our lives in the moments that are not seen, captured or shared. She says the burden of giving an account of our hours and days as proof of the worthiness of ourselves is a disingenuous burden at best. And she concluded:
"...may your art be a sincere reflection of what already exists, not a post projection of what we desire."
Stop. Read that again. Let it sink into your soul.
Living a life worth currating isn't about living a life that makes pretty pictures for the sake of making a pretty picture. It isn't about pleasing anyone and everyone who might see that picture, provoking them to value you more or less, evaluating the quality with which we choose to live our lives. No, it's about creating time to be alone. Or creating time to be with your sweet family or closest friends, or those new friends who will walk with you from here on after.
It's about enjoying the moments that build community and strengthen relationship and then reflecting afterwards, be it in thought, word or photo.
It's about being present.
It's about being honest and not trying to make the moments you do decide to capture fit anyone's agenda or expectations except your own, letting each passing second shine with it's own intrinsic beauty.
It's about being intentional with what you capture, keep and share for the future. Not all things have to be shared. We don't curate for others. We do it for our families. We do it for ourselves.
Finally, it's a labor of love. No matter how you're capturing moments, it's a way to love those around you, listening first and honestly capturing later.
So may your life be full of beautiful moments this week with all those whom you love. May there be unexpected snuggles from your children and sweet and intimate pillow talk to close out each day with your lover. May memories be made with friends over the joy of fall, the unexpected laughs and the softest genuine tears. And for the few moments you do decide to capture, and the even fewer you decide to share with us, I pray that you'll find joy in being the curator of your family's story.