Sunday, September 16, 2012
Friday, September 14, 2012
There's a lot going on in the world of Love and freedom, of Love's Freeway, of letting Love have its way. So although I have been writing less than usual in this column, that is no indicator whatsoever of a flagging of enthusiasm or interest. Neither is it an indication of a shortage of suitable topics. Quite the contrary, in fact. But there are times, I have discovered more than once, when a pause is called for. The "usual routine" (I say) must be interrupted to gain a fresh perspective. No doubt future posts will be affected by this pause and refreshed perspective--favorably, I hope. In fact, I hope it will flavor them all, like a new spice added to the cabinet.
For the short run, I will say: my "new" camera of a year or so ago had an unexpected encounter with the Atlantic Ocean during my recent holidays on Cape Cod. 'Twas not much more than a splash, but it was, after all, SALT water, and even plain water can cause fireworks in electronic devices, never mind the added (sel de mer) conductivity. "An unfortunate encounter..." I've said to a few friends. But now I realize just how fortunate that encounter was. In fact, I'm thinking I should revise my story, even my recollection of the incident. Yes, let's!
"I threw my camera in the Atlantic, and it's one of the best things I've ever done!"
There. That's my new story, and a very happy story because of what followed. Not the rinsing, the white rice, and the x number of days the patient spent in my warm oven (pilot on). The camera was still wonky after all that. No it was the three days and nights I spent researching, searching for its proper replacement. I say "proper" because of the pause, the new perspective. I needed a camera to match that. It was rather grueling, actually. The shopping process was kind of like cyberdating, or any kind of dating which, let's face it, so often end with "why can't I find all these qualities in one person?!"
On night one, I was buying the Nikon. On night two, it was a Canon. Then it was a Sony. Then an Olympus. (Maybe it was four days of grueling research?) And just as I was sure I'd found the right camera for me at this time, I took one last look at a Flickr photostream of photos it had made. That's when I stumbled upon a few other shots, taken by another camera, that made my jaw drop. OMG. This was SLR quality in a compact. It had to be the Leica lens. Eureka! Just what I wanted! I'd done it. I'd found all the qualities I was looking for in one camera.
I'm going to spare you the details about grueling part B: where to buy the winning camera and the details of the purchase (New? Used? Amazon? Ebay? Accessories? No accessories?). Instead, I will fast forward to its arrival: the box! The beautiful, very lightweight plain brown box that had my new Lumix LX5 and accessories inside.
It only took one click of the shutter, no word of a lie. I dashed off an email to the friends who'd helped with or were privy to the process:
"Subject: I AM IN LOVE!!!!"
There is SO much more I could share. But suffice it to say that it is one thing to see beauty in the world, to be awake and aware and present for it. It is another to have the means to capture it precisely, well, with razor sharp clarity. This beautiful, elegant, sophisticated machine...: I can't even talk about it. (Is it wrong to love an inanimate object this much?! ) So many possibilities have opened before me. I am more ready than ever to step into them. Seasons change, and so do I, and oh, is that ever grand.
I am on a learning curve, and that's grand too. It will take us awhile to get acquainted. But I already know: this is a travel camera, no doubt about that. It is waiting to touch the World, kiss by kiss.
Saturday, September 08, 2012
I remember a vine of these flowers in Provincetown, on a post-and-rail fence, just around the corner from the Fine Arts Work Center. I was studying there with Carole Maso at the time. We were chatting alongside them, in gleaming warm sun. Her partner Helen happened by so that is Helen. We made a time for my final conference: we'd meet on the beach by the Bay in the morning--bring your coffee.
It was a faceted moment. It was a little universe, revolving around a rail of flowers. So it seems to me now, as it returns, of a piece. But then, this is no easily forgotten flower.
Who thought of this? I can't help thinking when I see them. The zig zag of the petals alone: whose idea was that? So many other flowers emerge from a tight cocoon and their wrinkles smooth out as they expand. Not these. And that's not the half of it. Their color and striping, the stigmas, the anthers: suffice it to say, I could look at them forever and marvel at their magnificence. Or even blind just sniff their sweet elixir, delicious as the fruit that will follow.