Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Culinary Photo death

This is the very last image my Nikon shot.  I squeezed every bit of life out of my camera I could.  This object, that was a companion in South Korea, China, throughout Europe, in Washington DC, New York City, and now home here in Minneapolis threw itself into spasms while I was taking photographs of a duck that I had respectfully fabricated.

An object that ceased to be useful, yet I was accustomed to its usefulness.  That is how technology has been for me this year.  I was really impressed with how it lasted.  Almost all of the images on this blog were taken with that camera which I had purchased in South Korea, when my other camera could no longer handle the task.

I have to say, I haven't wanted to migrate to a smart phone.  I spent hours looking it over, and each time, I close the window without a purchase.  It's just not the same.  I don't want to post every picture.  Sometimes, I just want to look at something differently.  Sometimes, its a random moment that I am trying to capture.  Sometimes, I learn from the simple things, by how they stack up and I just stare and I think about what I learned through those pixels.

Those are my lessons.  I chose to learn something for the moment that made it tangible to me.  Just as all of you, out there, do for yourself.  I opened the cart, looked at the new phone, with built in camera, but I don't have that same excitement.  I made a realization, that I don't want that jazzed up phone.  I realized in a moment, when my camera died, why I loved my camera.  The editing I can do and though I don't have to 'share' those images, I just don't want them on a phone.  I think it's kind of strange to all of a sudden feel this strange aversion to technology I normally love.  I just can't explain it.  So I opened the cart and closed it a few more times this week.

And I realize I just want another camera.  I don't want or need the other gadget.  I am thankful for what I already had.  So I will pick up another camera.  One that I feel good about using.  That if I drop it, it won't shatter on me in tough times.  I need a workhorse.  I need a good shot.  Down to the last kill, with over 48,000 miles under its belt, through x-ray machines, ceremonies, artists homes, strangers on the street, to solar eclipses on the other side of the world.  It was a well used, and somewhat abused piece of equipment that served me well since 2009.  It died in the presence of me.  One knows the difference between a low battery and equipment failure and this was equipment death, the screen went black.

I tried to coax it back to life, pushing the power button, taking out and reinserting the battery, and it flipped open its lens for one last shot, I photographed my efforts and then the screen went into all assorted colors, withdrew its lens and closed up for good.  It was dead.  Even mechanical things die.  We also die.

I recently got news that I wasn't so excited about hearing.  I have a growth.  I have to have it removed.  I have to make other decisions.  The last thing I wanted to die around me was an object that had nurtured my global voyeurism.

I am going to be fine.  So many of my friends have survived so many forms of cancer, it's become an expected thing to go through it.  As I told one of my friends, "death has kissed both of my cheeks and forehead, it has yet to kiss my mouth."

As many of you, who have taken the time to read my blog, by now realize that I like to use everything around me to tell a story.  Sometimes it's in a very old parable sort of way.  Sometimes, you get the point right away and sometimes, I just let you figure it out for yourself.

Truth, will, for most of our lives, be debated as absolute knowledge.  It's never that way because life is always changing.  We one were babes who couldn't walk.  One day we could run for miles and never tire.  Nothing is wholly one thing or another forever.

I am enjoying my culinary life.  I am taking pictures.  I am making wonderful food and I am writing again.

This blog was special, because it was my note behind to let friends and family and whoever else was interested, that I was OK.  I am horrible with talking on the phone.  Always have been.  I wanted them to know what I was seeing and learning along the way and that I loved them very much without ever having to say the words.

This is going to be my only public confession of my struggle, because I don't want to talk about it.  We all die, but a friend of mine said to me, dying is easy.  Not everyone really lives.
This is what I am taking with me, my heart and my memories.  I have already had an intense life and it's going to be that way until I die.  It's too easy to love sadness.

I recently received a ring, with my birthstone,  the inscription simply says "Life goes on with you or without you."  Life is life, and for many, it's not really a full comprehension of what it really means to get this experience of actually being.

I cannot afford to be negative.  I remind myself of a very important fact.  Without death, there is no life.  It would be merely, existence.  That is why everything will always change.  So even if I win or lose this battle, it really doesn't matter.  It's inevitable.  Death is coming because we all live.  We aren't merely existing.

One of my favorite lines is, "The darkness doesn't last forever."

To be able to do what you love with complete enjoyment is a rare and treasured gift.   Perhaps that is a horrible way to end this piece, but when you start trying to think of a profound thought to finish with, it just comes out forced and preachy.  We all go through something.  Big things, little things like paper cuts on our hearts.  It's the little things we ignore, that we shouldn't.  They set the tone for our life.

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