Many years ago, my friend Cecil got me a Canon AE1 from the police property room annual sale. I tried to learn photography but failed. My brother Mark appropriated the camera, remarking, I know what I’m doing, you don’t. It’s that simple. I never again tried to take pretty pictures.
Before I left Kansas City, a videographer of my acquaintance who shall go unnamed chided me for “stealing” other people’s pictures from the internet to illustrate this blog. The scolding settled in my craw. Finally, though knowing my failing eyes and trembling hands could never be the tools of a photographer’s trade, I nonetheless acquired a little Canon, with an auto feature and a basic zoom lens. Since then, I’ve become obsessed with the eyes of hawks, the necks of egrets, and the fat bodies of cooing pigeons.
Tonight’s moon drew me to the pavement in front of my tiny house. I fumbled with the tripod, and finally, battling the inevitable tremor, snapped dozens of frames of the half-moon high above the park in which I live. My shoulder froze as I tried to depress the shutter without disturbing the angle at which I had positioned the camera. Finally the chill got to me, and I went inside.
It’s only a paper moon, I suppose; but it reflects the light of the sun as she sets an hour away, on the far horizon, over my Pacific.
It’s night-time, on the fifth day of the seventieth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.