Saturday, 19 November 2016

Through One Lens

© Melissa Gaggiano

© Melissa Gaggiano

© Melissa Gaggiano
I was alone with my camera. Well, not really alone. I am never alone with my thoughts.
This week personal anxiety was taking a massive toll in my heartland. Fears about the future. Fear of people. Fear of taking a leap.
I stepped out on a Wednesday. Neither hot, neither cold. Neither grey, neither blue. Somewhere in between.
A bee is flying amongst the flowers. He, she, it, makes a solitary figure, but if I pull back the lens I see that is not so. There are many hovering bees all around. I’ve heard about the bees disappearing. It makes me glad that I have flowers in the garden. I should plant more flowering plants then. For the bees. Do bees enjoy the flowers the way humans do? Or is it just another day at the office for a bee?
I leave my street and head toward the shops. I see a ‘no u-turn’ sign. I am near the school. Why do people ignore that sign? Do they think the law is merely a guideline? Or do they think that rules only apply to others? There is symbolism in that sign – you can never go back. That’s sad, but it can also be a good thing. Got to keep moving forward.
Cross the street and nearing the tracks. A woman walks slowly in my direction, hunched forward on a walking frame. You know those frames that double as a seat. Those seats must be nice for resting. But I notice how hunched the people are that use the frames. 
The woman is stooped with white silvery hair that makes me think of angels and baby lambs. Her skin is feathery and delicate. She has elegant white leather gloves on. Gloves are disappearing, along with the bees. I compliment the woman on her gloves. But what I really wanted to ask was ‘can I take your photo?’. But I am too scared to ask. An opportunity lost. Too many of those. It hurts my heart.
Past the tracks and another sign is before me. I stop to read it:

Because when you
stop 
& look around,
this life
is pretty amazing.

How very Ferris Buellerian.
I was on my way to visit the vinyl shop. I change my mind.
There is a dog. He is sitting patiently waiting for his person. Only he is not a he. I later discover he is a she, after reading the collar – Trish. Trish the gorgeous. Trish the tender hearted. Trish of the honey brown amber.
I kneel to take a photo. Trish stands and walks toward me expectantly, with the heartbreakingly beautiful trust of a dog to a human. She is only held back by her tied leash. If that leash wasn’t on her there would be nothing that she couldn’t achieve.
I enter the op-shop, not far from Trish.
A woman hovers near the children’s literature near the front door. She asks me if these are the children’s books, then explains that she’s never worked here before. I say ‘yes’. Never be rude, even if the answer appears obvious. It hurts when people make me feel stupid, and refuse to give an answer. I don’t want to do that to others.
In the op-shop I find a wonderful book on three dimensional graphics. Perfecto! I was recently making something with paper. The whole family has, really. I start something wonderful, and the girls follow my lead. My interests become their’s. They become me, and I become them.
One of the women working in the shop speaks to another, commending the work of another, “That young one did a good job organising this area.” The other responds, “Did she?” Tone polite, but questioning. Perhaps she can’t see it, or doesn’t really have any further to say.

I wait to be served at the counter. I stare at a wall of plates and bowls. I want to take a photo. I want to ask permission. Fear kicks in, and the only photo I have is the one in my mind.

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