Joined at the Heart · Mouths of Babes

Without a Lens

It was early on the second day of our vacation just before we left Balmorhea State Park. I needed both hands to jiggle the lock on the camper door, so I handed the camera to Bacon, who was leaning over the hitch checking the brake lights. He needed both hands too, so he laid the Canon digital on the trailer, warning me. “Here’s your camera. Don’t forget to pick it up.” 

Half an hour later, I was wailing like a baby because I no longer owned a camera. Bacon responded to my flailing and self-flagelation by promising to buy me another at the very next big box we passed. If only it were that simple… although Wal-Mart displayed the particular model most like mine, they didn’t bother to stock it… at least in New Mexico.

On our way out of the Roswell Supercenter, Coco tried to comfort me. “Maybe Uncle BBC1 will have an extra camera you can borrow?” She was so sweet, I gave her a big hug right in front of the security camera.

“Coco, it’s like your blanky.” My six year old has a blanket so special, we use a feminine personal pronoun to describe her. “You can borrow someone else’s, but it’s never the same as having your own.” Coco nodded in understanding.

The camera, like Pink Blanky for Coco, is an extension of me. In a photograph, I can capture the instant when my eye knows my heart, and what I see with my heart is an image worth keeping. It’s the essence of the story–like writing a poem with a beam of light.

Bacon bought a Canon PowerShot S5 IS for me a few days later. It’s nicer than my old camera. I used it to capture the sun rising over the pines at Holy Ghost–poetry in a light beam.

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