Hi all! Just as I promised, I am back with a post about the Fourth of July. Don't worry, if you're not from these parts, and this is not a holiday you celebrate. I still have some ideas for you all. Because wherever you're from, I bet there is some celebration of your home's history and culture.
Like any holiday, really, there are two aspects to record about Fourth of July. The first, is the sights, the sounds, the foods, the traditions, the people. All of which fit into the category of how we celebrate. These things make up the actual experience of the holiday, and they are, therefore, easier to capture and record. But still, how can we take those moments and turn them into part of the story of our lives? Sometimes, we can't. Sometimes the story simply is, we went here, we saw this, we ate that. But sometimes, if we give ourselves time, we can think of a context that makes the story more meaningful.
Here is my example: Last year, we went on a two week road trip. We watched the Fourth of July fireworks from a motel parking lot in Kentucky. I have had these photos for a year, but never scrapped them before. I took them out to scrap now, and I didn't plan on adding any story to the photos. They were to be my example of simply recording an event. But when my son saw the pictures, he said with a touch of nostalgia, "Oh, that was so fun." Now, I'm pretty sure when we saw the fireworks, we were tired, and though they were neat, they were not really a highlight of our trip. But that's where the story emerged--in the year since our road trip, all the bumps on that long, long road have been forgotten, and we just have fond memories of it all.
I challenge you to think about the context of where your holiday fits in to the larger picture of your life. Was it boring, stressful, more exciting, or less exciting than years passed? Are you celebrating with new people, or the usual mix? Just adding a sentence or two can change the nature of your journaling. If, like me, a story doesn't take shape for a long time, well, wait to scrap the photos, or scrap them twice!
Just like every holiday has the rituals, they also have their deeper meanings; what it all represents. That can be harder to capture, because it is more of an emotional response to a holiday. Those feelings are hard to capture on camera, difficult to express in words, and guess what else? Those feelings don't always show up on the day they are supposed to.
So what are we really celebrating, when it comes to any country's Independence Day? To me, it's primarily about a feeling of connection to a history, a culture, and a community. It's being part of something bigger than myself. What brings out those feelings in you? They can happen any time of year, in any place. You can feel the connection to your country, your city, or just some great neighbors.
For my examples, once again, I scrapped about last year's road trip, because I was so amazed by how ginormous this country is, and all that exists and has happened inside it. I included both serious events, and those that are simply part of our popular culture. They all make me feel part of something larger.
And here is a more traditionally patriotic experience from this week; A copy of the Declaration of Independence, handwritten by Thomas Jefferson, and an original copy of the Bill of Rights, were on display at the New York Public Library. Really, what more could a scrapbooker want to see more than a really old, piece of paper?! Unfortunately, photos were not allowed, so I needed to rely on words to describe the experience. Which again was the feeling of something big, and powerful, and awesome.
So wherever you are from, take note of those times you feel that little tug of pride, of connection, of loyalty. Try describing those moments with words; it could be a lot of words, or just a few. Any number will do, really.