I shut my eyes and I find myself sitting as a young child watching projections of slides from my early years. Two pictures etched themselves into my mind. The first was a jeep with its open top, folded windshield laying on the hood (bonnet), and a wonderful looking medium format camera. The black and chrome details revealed a side of my father that I had not seen before.
“What happened to the camera? I do not think I have ever seen it.”
“Let’s not talk about it. You may not remember, but you have seen it.”
“What do you mean? When did I see it?”
“You last saw it when you decided that it would be interesting to disassemble it and see how it worked. You were successful at taking it apart. You never figured out how to reassemble your work.”
I believe I have been forgiven for a long time. At a price that I still do not comprehend, a love of photography was born. It is one that I love sharing, especially with the girls in my life.
Carli sees things I do not. It is wonderful to see beyond my vision and into hers. Whitney’s sight lines continue to expand in ways I never imagined. As I watched them capture the scene on the beach, I found myself in a world bigger than my own.
In the reflections that followed, I found myself reconnecting with my parents in the California forest lookout. They had no idea then what would follow. I am sure that the discovery of the camera pieces in the aluminum ice-cube pan was dark and painful. Repairing the camera was not a financial option. Forgiveness, even to someone young and innocent, was not easy.
I was fortunate. They lived out old wisdom. “If what you heard from the beginning lives deeply in you, you will live deeply in both Son and Father.” (1 John 2.25) Their gift gave birth to today. Today I saw something that began in the late 50’s. Fifty years later, it is replaying in new ways.