Thursday, December 5, 2013

My Camera, My Friend


I miss my camera.  I only had it for a little under a year and I failed to give it a name.I should have.  It deserved all that and more.  It never left my side.  Most of the time that we were together, my little Canon nestled comfortably in the palm of my left hand, resting and ready to go to work at a second's notice.  I tend to think of my little friend as a "she" for some reason.  Maybe that's because our relationship was intimate and we went everywhere together, inclusive of public restrooms.  So, she's been out and about and she spent ten months sharing a life with me and that is why I sat right down on a bench, clutching her dead body, and I cried like a baby on a street in Chatham on that sad day.  It was the day that I let my seven year old granddaughter take that one last picture......before she handed her to me and we dropped her to the flagstones below.  She hit hard.  I knew this was not going to be good and I felt worse about the fact that I was the only one of us whose life was about to take a turn.  The mommy and the two girls did not seem to have remorse nor did they understand what had just happened or why I was so brokenhearted. She was so much more than a camera. She really, really was.

There are so many things I am not "good" at.  Life on Cape Cod is a proving ground for that.  This little stretch of land is a mecca for people who are really good at things, finding me constantly in the presence of those who wow me and others with their art, their music, writing and multi-talents.  I'm always trying to become better at something but don't usually succeed.  Nobody is more aware of the biggest of all my shortcomings, taking care of myself, than my daughter.  That is precisely why she gifted me with my little Canon digital camera..  She knew I would never treat myself to a new camera as I was leaving for Italy last year and she wanted me to have this, a perfect one.  Sara is a photographer.  She's also an attorney.  She chose the creative life over the law life and is happy with her choice.  I'm sure she prefers seeing people through her own lens, their true selves revealed in ways that would demand so much more than the click of a shutter.  Her memory of her subjects is sharp.  The details of their personalities are preserved, their moods clearly sensed.  If they are relaxed, the photo shows it.  If they are tense or fatigued or in some way unwilling to be the subject, click.....there it is. No trials, no courtrooms.

My camera served me well.  I became good at something.  I became a better viewer, a really good observer of details, recorded with perfection.  Together, we captured faces, places and tiny details.  When I became overwhelmed with all I was seeing and feared that my memory would be lost, she came to my rescue.  Click, click, a shot of an exquisite piece of architecture.  Click, zoom, click and the rose window became mine to study later.  We had a great time seeking out sights and recording them so that nothing would be forgotten.  Her zoom lens made it possible to get in close and personal when we spotted an interesting face, the subject, never guessing that there was a portrait in the making.  Signs, posted bus and train schedules in another language that boggled my mind, no problem. Because she fit so perfectly in my palm, my ineptness could easily go by un-noticed. Click, and they were saved for translation and review later, making me more astute the next day. She was always the smarter of the two of us and there is so much evidence to prove it. Why, there is even a photo of a sign which clearly said that the next train to arrive would be the one that was going in the opposite direction of the one my departing guest wanted to be on.  Click. If only she could have said something more!  I'm sure she died laughing about this one!

Ahem......your train will be along in ten minutes....after the train to Foligno

And I am sure she died.  I even took her to my local camera shop, hoping that I would be getting a phone call telling me to come pick her up,that she was all fixed and ready to be held again.  But no, that was not the call.  She was not "worth" repairing.  The shop owner apologized for not being able to help.  Little did he know how stinging the reference to her worthlessness really was.  But, I accepted the truth and by that time, my initial mourning period had come to an end and a replacement had been ordered, one I will pick up next week when I visit my son who placed the order and has gotten points on his BestBuy account.  It was the least I could do to honor my departed friend.  Her legacy to my one of my children.

It should be noted that I did not ask my daughter to order the new camera.  She can get her own damned points!


  1. May you and Kami-2 have a long and creative relationship ... now, why are mothers kinder to their sons than to their daughters?

  2. Ummmmm......don't know the answer to that question June. Maybe it's because sons have more time on their hands than daughters? I love the name "Kami-2" and will keep it. My best friend is Camilla and when we were kids, she was known as "Cammy".