I took my video camera with me on vacation to Raystown Lake.
I got lots of beautiful footage and lots of mediocre footage. I learned that the in-camera microphone has terrible sound quality, and that I don't look quite as fat on camera as I thought.
This happens to me every summer: I latch on to a creative endeavor and pursue it with breathless enthusiasm, determined to learn anything and everything about it. Last summer it was gesture drawing. The summer before that it was collage. Now, for whatever reason, it's vlogging.
Vlogging gives me a much-needed respite from writing, and it challenges me to tell stories in new ways. It definitely pushes me out of my comfort zone. And it helps me capture fleeting moments with my sons, who are growing and changing every day.
They're both total naturals in front of the camera. I love my toddler's unbridled zeal for life, the way emotions roll across his face like clouds across the sky. I have a lot to learn from him about showing up as I am, no apologies or posturing.
I notice that the moments I let my guard down are also the moments that feel best when I'm watching the footage. Those are the moments I want to watch.
When I uploaded my vacation video to YouTube, I found a related video by two brothers who'd filmed a similar lake trip for their fishing channel:
Can you believe how good this is? They have eleven beautifully-framed, beautifully-edited shots before the opening title. They start with a story that rivals a David Attenborough documentary. These kids!
I don't even like fishing. But I subscribed to their channel, because it makes me happy that people like them exist in this world. I want to hear more of their stories.
Hopefully one day I'll get to the point where someone might feel the same way about me. Until then, I'll be here with my camera, filming life, learning new things, trying to loosen my guard.