Quite by accident during our winter stay on Hilton Head Island, SC I have uncovered the delight of the iPhoto edit function on my MacBook Pro computer. Surrounded as we are here by the Atlantic Ocean, expansive beach, endless horizon, dome-like sky, palm trees, towering sea pines, live oak trees and languorous hanging moss it is no surprise that every amateur photographer succumbs to the beauty of this place and feels compelled to record it. Although I am equipped only with my iPhone camera which I dutifully carry with me whenever we bicycle about the Island I have remarkably been able – thanks to the aforementioned edit function – to translate those bumbling snaps into something astonishingly pretty. Whenever I share my so-called artistic endeavours with friends I hasten to add that although the end product is a certifiable deceit (the sky is never that blue nor the edges that crisp nor the contrast that brilliant) the photographs nonetheless represent the way I see it (which I grant is bordering on poetic license). Any anxiety I might have harboured was however very much dispelled after having shared my work with a professional artist friend who commented glowingly upon my efforts. Naturally I was only too willing to accede to her approbation!
In any event this is all beside the point and only by way of introduction. What has since percolated in my cerebrum is the serendipitous similarity between my photographic experience in particular and our Island experience in general; namely, the edit function. It occurred to me that so much of what we do here is enhanced by an edit function. We have for example been saturated with local television, both the base jingles of local law firms and other commercial advertisements as well as iconic American movies such as James Stewart in the 1939 black and white production “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington“. We have highlighted our visit by attending the Arts Centre of Coastal Carolina, 14 Shelter Cove Lane where we saw a popular American musical “Singing in the Rain“. We have defined our palate by dining at Annie O’s Southern Eats, 124 Arrow Road where we tasted delicious Low Country fried chicken, vinegar cole slaw and black eyed beans! I have highlighted my sojourn by purchasing from a local music shop an electronic piano keyboard which is itself enhanced by optional sounds for violins, choirs and organs. I have even been retouched by my local hair architect Emerson who has initiated an adventurous new style of cut for me! The one thing we haven’t been able to crop is our protuberant bellies but we are able to de-noise that lack of definition by compensating with boosted energy and fitness from having bicycled virtually every day for three months. It is too tempting to resist noting that we have reworked our appearance with the glow of a sun tan; and that the look of the car has been enriched by a hand polish at the local car wash.
As with the photographic edit function the improvement of our life here contains that last resort manipulation “revert to original” which we are about to do within the next two weeks (delayed only by a short diversion to Amelia Island, FL to fulfill our curiosity). I wonder in real life whether indeed it is even possible to change back what has since been edited. Sure the tan will disappear as will the polish on the car, but for the rest we have our memories which are as permanent as anything else I can imagine. Besides the “revert to original” and “undo” buttons are not realistic defaults when the creation is so absorbing.