The urge to share

I had a conversation recently about what it means to post pictures on Flickr. I recently bought a pretty expensive camera (Canon EOS XTi) because I was starting to care enough about what I was recording to put money into some equipment that could compensate for my lack of talent and knowledge. After posting a bunch of very disappointing pictures on flickr today, I went back and found the first two pictures I ever posted — the ones that got me onto flickr. The first is a cool sunrise in Portsmouth, NH. I described it as a “Windham Hill wannabe moment”.


The second was a picture of my dog, Maggie, shoving her head into a hill of snow to pursue a scent she had picked up. I love canine moments of abandon.

I didn’t really learn anything concrete about my urge to share, but I did remember that urge to “put it out there” cuz I thought it was good to have it out there and not just on a disk drive in my closet (where pictures eventually must be archived).

I remember, in the early 1990s, reading a NYT review of a Bobbie Ann Mason collection of short stories, in which the reviewer said something like “Mason is terribly sympathetic to small-town people who live away from the things they love. They put up antennae to catch whatever signals they can of a life of the mind that exists only distantly for them” . . . I can’t find that line and am only sure about the putting up antennae part, but I think the urge to share is connected to that kind of reach — send out signals, wait for signals. Put it out there.

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