What if we were forsaken?
A few days ago during the first of three weekends of the 2010 Open Studio exhibit, I included my 4×5 camera as part of the show. Placed on its tripod it served to initiate conversation about how the displayed photographs were made. I warned my children to stay away from the tripod and not to engage in horseplay in or around the exhibit. Little was heeded of what I said.
Late on the first day while I worked in the studio just a few feet from the display outside, I heard a crash. As I peered out the door I find my youngest on the ground wrapped around the legs of the tripod and the camera…well it was not pretty.
As the camera lay on the ground that afternoon, I scolded my young daughter for what she had done. I sent her to her room in tears and once I picked up the camera and examined it to find the damage I returned to her room and scolded her further. I made up my mind not to speak to her until she came forward and apologized for what she had done.
I picked up the camera and removed it from the tripod and just set it on my living room floor and continued with the exhibit meeting and speaking with visitors, all the while wondering how I was going to continue making photographs without a camera.
That night I searched for a replacement online. Disappointed with what I found, I retired. The next morning I proceeded to disassemble my camera and asses the true extent of the damage.
Taking the camera apart was a bit intimidating, but once the screws were removed and the full extent of the damage seen, it did not seem like the damage was not repairable
The broken side rail was fractured in two places and ran back about two inches.
I used a liberal amount of Elmer’s Wood glue and clamped the pieces back in place and waited for the glue to dry.
For the remainder of the day I did not speak to my daughter. Although to her it seemed as if the incident never occured! Throughout the day she would call to me with her sweet little voice, “Babaa…” It was absolutely heart wrenching not replying to her calls. When she would persist, I would turn away from her hoping that she would get the message and show me some remorse for what she had done.
The next morning I came into the studio to examine the camera. The glue had dried sufficiently and I proceeded to stress the joints lightly to see if they would give. Just then my daughter walked in and with the sweetest of voices said “Baba, I’m sorry”. I asked her why she was apologizing and she said “for breaking your camera” and then began to cry. I gave her a hug and dried her tears and then I asked her what she thought I should do now without a camera. Her reply, “I’ll make you a new one!” About a day later, a perfect little box camera, complete with tripod was sitting on the dining room table and is now part of my camera collection. Getting it to work is a whole other ball of wax.
Later that day after putting the 4×5 camera back together I was reflecting on what had transpired. In some respects I had, at least for a day, forsaken my little girl. It was painful to do so, but I wanted to show her my displeasure in what she had done.
I then pondered on our condition, that is the human condition on a whole, with regards to the state of our world. Everything is chaotic. I began to wonder if our collective behavior, our plundering of the Earth and of each other and our general disobedience to our Creator has not in some ways rendered us forsaken with respect to the Divine. Yes we still have our daily bread, at least most of us, but where have the blessings in that bread gone? Why is it that the food we eat has become so unhealthy? Where have the blessings in our time vanished to? Most of us work everyday of the week just to keep afloat leaving us with no time for what is important in life – namely family. And what has happened to the blessings of family? It used to be that when hardship fell, family was there with a net to catch you and get you back on your feet. Today in place of family, we have turned to virtual digital friends in cyberspace – but they really don’t exist outside of the computer monitor that you see them on. And more than half of all those trying to start their own families end up broken in divorce! That should be very alarming.
Are we in fact forsaken? I hope not, I want my prayers and calls heard and answered. Be excellent to each other my fellow cybernauts, and be good with God. Let not our actions be a reason for finding ourselves without the hand of providence there to guide us.
P.S. I really like my new camera.
P.P.S. I think the repair on the 4×5 will work, the camera seems functional.