Tuesday, December 2, 2008

If a picture is worth a thousand words, one thousand words are worth...99 dollars.

I take a lot of pictures. I mean, a lot of pictures. There are two reasons for that. The first is that, since I started a journey on a spiritual path that includes meditation, I've become much more aware of my surroundings. As a result, it seems as if I'm always seeing something in a new light that strikes my fancy. A single blue hydrangea among November's flowers otherwise void of vivid color. A lonely dandy lion. A field full of cheery, yellow dandy lions. A woolly worm racing down a country road. Things I might never have noticed in a previous life not as rich as this one I'm now living have a life of their own, drawing my attention, and my camera lens, to them.

The second reason that I take so many pictures, an average of 75 on a day when I may only ride my bike a mile, is because my camera's LCD screen is broke and it doesn't have an optical viewfinder. I can tell neither that a shot is framed properly nor the setting at which I'm using to take the picture is appropriate. To be safe, I try and capture five shots: high, low, left, right, and centered. This way, I figure I'm bound to get a decent image. There have been days when I've been out on an extraordinarily beautiful day, snapping photos right and left, appreciating all that I see and enjoying myself immensely while also looking forward to being home later, having a lovely cuppa and going through my pics of the day.

And then, if I were the type to allow disappointment to set in, it probably would; I'm often lucky to get a couple of decent images out of the 75 I take. I'm not a professional photographer, and don't even have "the eye for photography" that some do. I realize, too, that no photo can capture the beauty one sees through one's peepers. However comma...when I only get half of a beautiful German Shepherd (even if the shot looks intentional) or an image of absolutely nothing but blue, cloudless sky (may as well be a wall painted robin's-egg blue), or the fuzzy white cone of what I think is a mountain, or half a mountain...well, it's a bit disheartening, especially when I look forward to sharing my day with my sons, my friends, my family. Not in a "Nanny nanny boo boo" way...but to show them how much meaning life has for me now. How precious every day has become to me.

What to do, what to do? The bald eagles have made their nests, but I can't get a decent shot of those, let alone the eagles which will soon be in the area in droves. And the snowline is falling, meaning those first snowflakes will be dancing my way very soon. And there's my lovely girly-pink bicycle, my flaky OCD cat, Tetley, and the birds that have decided they like the restaurant right outside my window, all posing for portraits that I keep missing.

I needed a new camera. And, while I really can't afford one, I bought one today with plastic money. I know that things will work out...they always do. I believe it's because I try to follow the Noble Eightfold Path in the Buddhist philosophy: right understanding, right thoughts, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. By staying on my path, I've been able to shelf the worry that used to plague me, like, where is the money going to come from? My finances look pretty bleak right now; the "old" me would be wringing her hands, crying "woe is me". That me certainly wouldn't buy a new camera.

This new me, however, worries about very little, actually. It's an insightful feeling to know that worrying about the outcome of a situation accomplishes absolutely nothing other than compound the negativity one is already feeling. Just keep on, keeping on, doing the right thing, and things fall into place like a jigsaw puzzle solving itself. It was in that frame of mind that the new me found a great deal on a very nice camera. TopChoiceDigital.com is selling the Canon A590 for $99.00, averaging a cool $30 less than many stores, both online and brick-and-mortar. This is the camera I've been looking at for a few months now, primarily because it's one of the few models of digital cameras that still has an optical viewfinder. With my current camera, a Nikon Coolpix L11, the LCD screen is the viewfinder, and the menu options can only be seen on the screen. I haven't been able to change the flash, macro, or any exposure settings since the screen broke. The A590 has a manual dial for its settings, too, which means that, even if the LCD screen bites the dust, I'll still have a camera I can use. A camera I can capture some of the magic and majesty I see while out and about on my bicycle.

A hundred dollars may not sound like much to some of you (Hello? Is there anybody out there?) but for someone who shops at resale establishments out of necessity (though I love the treasure hunting feeling of the experience, too), a hundred bucks is a great deal of money. But, ya know what? 'Tis the season...Merry Christmas to me. Why, thank you! It's just what I wanted!

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