I was reading this today and thought of you.
I remembered when we lived on South Street and you used to bring out the Polaroid camera and shoot photos.
I remembered how patiently you taught six year old me to wrap my hand around the strap of the heavy camera, place my other hand on the other side, finger poised above the button, focus on what I wanted to see, wanted others to see and... CLICK!
I remembered waiting for the image to appear. You would come down to my level, resting the whole of your weight on the balls of your feet and lean in behind me, peering over my shoulder at the picture you held in front of us both. Sometimes you trusted me to hold the photo myself, gently between the pointer finger of each hand so as not to smudge the developing photo with my fingers or crush the photo between the weight of my fingers on either side.
We waited and those few minutes sometimes felt like an eternity. I was not always a patient child and, even now, am not always a patient adult, but you helped me pass the time. You told me how it worked, what was happening as we waited, you often chalked it up to "Magic!", and slowly it appeared... what I wanted to see, what I wanted others to see.
As I got older, you taught me more. We "played" with the lenses and the light. You showed me Polaroids you had taken long ago. You allowed me, provided me with the tools, to tap my imagination and to create and to feel safe in sharing this with others.
I remember your delighted laughter, low and dark emerging slowly from the back of your throat, at my observations as I was framing a photo and at my amazement when my photos developed.
I miss your laugh.
I miss you.
Fast forward to almost a year ago. When Grammy passed away, your parents' house was cleaned out and you found Grampy's camera. If I could find film for it, you would teach me how to use it, you promised. I would like to do that. Would you?
Over the past year I have been transforming. I have said the things and asked the questions that reside in my soul in an effort to show the people I love how much I love them, how much I desire to have truthful, deeper, stronger relationships with them. Mostly, my outreach has not been reciprocated, my questions have gone unanswered, but I continue to hope and to love. I have asked for really big things, huge leaps of faith, and I recognize that. I wait patiently for people to develop, for life to develop, for the future to develop. I stand firmly in the now with hope and intention and, most importantly, love.
I still believe in "Magic!"