One conversation stands out. A couple of reciprocal pleasantries, "Where are you from..? How did you meet John?" (the birthday boy - a very talented artist), and then this question; "What was the highlight of your day?" Loved that question - as opposed to "So what do you do for a living?", or some other usual 'let me box you into some sort of category', so I can manage my unconscious limbic responses with minimal threat, type of question :)
My reply, "well this afternoon, two of my kids were totally focused on staying balanced on a treated pine fence, comfortably strolling a metre and a bit off the ground, to one side, and a drop off to the beach on the other side of more than two metres. The afternoon light was a beautiful dark dusty grey-green, as a storm headed North, and I got my camera out to capture the moment. Guess what happened..?"
The moment was over as the kids began to pose for the camera and lost the simple pleasure of fence balancing. Instead they started doing 'karate kid' poses and 'oh what a feeling, Toyota' stunts off the fence, for the benefit of the camera. Still a lot of fun, but not quite the moment I had tried to capture. I guess that's it, you can't capture it, you can notice it, feel it, and maybe remember a little (a photo might help you do the last bit, that is, if you haven't totally changed the moment by your observation in some way - hence my need for a longer lens). I'd like to be able to notice without being noticed next time.
So, I could just leave the camera at home, or buy a longer lens. The meta-physicists are shaking their heads and muttering. If I get what they are saying, it's an even more direct link between observation and reality.
Duck balances in a tree to avoid being noticed noticing