It's Cool

My Personal Column: June 2015

June weather ought to be bright and warm; temperatures in the eighties. It's sort of very cool for spring to early summer in the valley, and I am sorting out the type of trouble I get into all summer, because it's not too hot.

For the past couple of years, my husband has been running an e-waste recycle depot, so (besides helping him lift heavy things occasionally) I've been selling some of the recycle cameras.

The depot was just a small garage. My husband left this recently due to some health issues.

Every once in a while, though, we were both astounded to see beautiful vintage cameras, dating as far back as the 1920s.

I've made it my hobby to research these, and the developments in earlier digital or Super-8 cameras and video cameras.

A Life That is Saga

I am sensitive to some of works of these cameras, and, believe me, I find it hard to part with some of their lovely selves.

Basically, I am not too keen on being anything but a collector when it comes to vintage fold-out cameras, 1940s Nikon EMs, or my latest - one of the earliest digital focus film cameras, a Canon EOS.

My big problem is getting film, development cost and batteries so that I can test these out (ostensibly, so I can sell them and tell the client that they work good!)

My enjoyment comes when I sense the photographers' journey, and I seek to express the sensibility of some of my fellows' camera sagas.

I'm not really into a show-and-tell but I need to share what is cool about being on a low income. Sure, it's a rough and ready existence, but instead of indulging in a throwaway lifestyle, I cherish some of the legacy appliances and objets d'arts that come my way.
I live my life in a meditative state, and it's cool to spend some time understanding matter, not junking it, or the life it has experienced as molecules involved with a journey of whatever kind

I express my creativity, basically, without spending too much money.
A great example is the fun I had with the Kodak Pony, as shown on the left, but also with the generosity of those going beyond financially. They can buy the newest and best of appliances, but they do not forget to love their earth and their fellow man by green-cycling these very fine cameras, phones, televisions, etc.

A few months ago I was thrilled to find a tiny Canon pocket camera. It has marvellous in-camera editing features, and I have had as much fun with this as a fourteen year old!

Troubles always exist, and it's cool. The battery I needed for this special camera cost me forty dollars. I bought it to see whether the cam worked, of course, so I could sell this.
I fell in love, instead, and took an artists' date with camera in hand as often as possible. So now I keep two functioning cameras and I really do need a higher gig card for my pocket cam. It has an SD but it is only 65 mp. I need a 2 to 4 gigabyte memory card.

Did you know that a miniature camera can only go up to about 4 gigs in memory? I have a strong feeling that this is about the size of my own memory these days. I still have cameras to test, and get flighty about creative time versus working time.

Beauty in Chaos

Ok, an artist is always seeing what is divine, colorful and esoteric about the view of life.

When I visited my husbands messy garage, I took my camera along to record the storage yard and its very interesting artifacts.

In the meantime, speaking of chaos, last year sometime our hosting service totally crashed due to a power outage. I usually find these situations to be magnificent and the quiet times with candles a blessing, but this time both my husband and I lost all the files for all of our websites.

"Lucky we have records of these", I remember saying - but a whole memory stick had got lost and I ended up with incomplete data, as well as freakish, bastard half-assed editing on my pages that I had fixed, very tediously, long ago.

I was so disconsolate about this that I just left my website as is for a year. I just didn't want to do it anymore, or to write or research or edit.

When I did decide in the cool of winter that I had time and, yes, I would get rid of the teeny text and busted image spaces, I had to stop paying attention to my camera hobby.

It's all for a good cause, albeit I have a lot of aches and pains this year, but really - I have tapped away at the mess older pages were in for a couple of months now. The office is too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer, so I am trying to get this finished in time for the heat of July.

Anyway, my daily work is orderly and not chaotic, but life is truly chaos. I witness the lines and grey hairs amassing, and the time it takes me to limp down the stairs, remembering how I used to use the float technique to skim the stairs in days of my youth. I loved to do this; all the young people learned a really fast way to glide down stairs by slipping their feet over every step.

I will probably never achieve professionalism in photography: my eyesight is failing and I have to take therapy for this.

No, I don't think of myself as colourful, but wrecked autos (as shown in the photo) but it is a bit harder to find beauty and meaningfulness in the dotty things that an older person finds to do, or has to do.

Trouble in Paradise

Come April, when all of the snow and frost has cleared away from a softening earth, I used to be out gardening in the cold air, sowing peas, radish, lettuce and any early cool weather crop, like chive seed or onions.

This year as well as last the task ahead of me was painful, threatening, and I was too stiff or too sick to face digging, weeding and hauling until the warmer weather came in. Add to this the siding to wash, decks to re-stain, heavy garden furniture to move and to prep, and you have a colossal train wreck at my house.

Fine, I managed my neatest flower bed outside the front. All it really needed was some extra cedar shreds and a little weeding. I didn't do this in the rain of early spring, though. I was hard-put to haul the cedar mulch bags, too. Still, I am getting compliments from my neighbours and they do not know what hell the backyard is in. We are retirement age, and both of us find that all of our chiff chaff hobbies and creationes take too much time, money and effort, not to mention the efficient maintenance we have both done for so many years (also to save money).

Order or Ordure, That Is the Question

Am I a busted heap, or no? I do have terrible dotty messes in my studio, garden and sewing room. I have hobbies that I forgot I had, like collecting postcards and greeting cards for their graphic interest. I have sewing to do from three months ago.
I do manage to get rid of ordinary garbage bags every week, and I recycle like a good little girl. I try to post my extra plants free on Kijiji to save their beautiful lives rather than throw them into the green box.
Sure, I wash the floors and dust and organize, but I totally remember being busy from pre-dawn to 2 am in the days of my youth. I made hundreds of things and got up when I was kicked to try something else. Above all, I had a little son to keep me going. Mending, sewing, crafts, cooking and working toward some sort of existence had to be balanced with fun creative time, but a young parent finds canning, cuisine, yard-saling and thrift shop hopping and turns life into fun and profit as well.

You just find your creative spark within all aspects of life, and the discoveries keep you going, whatever your direction.

Last year I had great plans to embroider some of my meditations as records, ways of signifying awakening or realization. I made one, and it was lame. Profound, yet overly simple!

Just the weather, perhaps? I have to give up on heavy gardening and walking during the really hot days, which have become just as prohibitive as the really cool ones. Being older, I sort of faint after five minutes.

So, is it so important, really, to have that look and feel of busyness or of fruition? No-one particularly cares whether I save old graphic print or postcards, and so far I've collected shells without re-opening the shell book I bought. At least I have kept these, and love them.

I refuse to see these artifacts of sunnily buzzy days as refuse.I remember a friend putting a sign on something one day. It said: "Do not discard dis card" on it.. my sign must be "Do not refuse refuse".
Here this includes what I think of myself, sometimes. Old junker. Bag. Hag. Ha ha, I looks like an old witch, now. Oh, ha ha.


Bye for now!



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