Not the hired help

I’m getting better.

Not too long ago, I would lug my fully ensemble of photographic equipment to parties and gatherings.  It marked me: bull’s eye, she’s the one expected to document this for all the rest of us.

Countless times I fell victim to this obligatory task – “Rachelle! Make sure you get this picture.” Or, “Rachelle, where are you! They need a photo of such-and-such.”  It seemed some people only shot me an invite for the potential photos I was certain to take.

Believe me when I say I love taking photos.  I’m excited to hold my camera, to capture a moment and make it last.  It’s always awesome to flip through my pictures and reminisce on the second the shutter clicked.

But I’ve never liked demands. I’ve never appreciated being put to work at a soiree I was supposed to be a guest at.  It hardly seems fair to want me to be on high alert at a social gathering.  The pressure stifles my interest – - my desire to document.  As a guest, what I chose to remember – what I shoot – is what is important to me.  Unless, of course, someone is paying me as a photographer.

And so now, when I go to a family event, I bring my phone for capturing the majority of the memories.  It has great picture taking capability. It is portable. It preserves memories and shares them instantly.  I don’t feel the pressure to polish my pictures, either.

Then, I’m not the one called for photo ops (especially not mid-bite, or mid-celebration).  I take what I want, capture what I want, and share freely what I get.

Yes, Cam tags along.  He sometimes sits atop the table or under my chair.  I even bring Bad Mama Jama (my 70-200mm super lens) and she hangs out inconspicuously in her case.    And I get to savor the experience in real time as a participant instead of being the observer.

Oh, and as a plus, Hubs brings his camera along and clicks with a different perspective.

after the break, un-well

I sit
Sucking down the bad humors of sickness
Illness, an all-encompassing ache
Heavy lidded, I survey my space
Encroaching pressures, a claustrophobic nightmare
Head pulsing in rhythmic pings
I wince
Thank God for health
When simple moments of stillness are simple, unnoticed pauses
And not overwhelmed seconds of strained release of focus
Agony consumes

before beginning

Restless
Crowded room, melee of conversation
Fervent communication increasing with the minutes
Excitement, energy bouncing between strangers grouped within
Shifting bodies occupy uncomfortable seats
And then, a single call for silence
All activity ceased.

Check engine

Incessant yellow blinks at me now
Dash board warning of impending danger
No time to waste in checking
Ominous future may ensue in wait
Stop. Look. Repair the increasing damage.
Life can depend on today’s action.

day, break

In front of her, the horizon
Painted blue for the night
Now brushed with first purple
Then pink, orange, yellow
The sun’s artistry magnificently marking its sky canvas
Clouds appeared, white wisps in intensifying color.
She was oblivious to the creation appearing before her,
Focusing instead on her bare feet
Pressed into the dispersing sand
Pulled down by retreating tide
Disappearing and reappearing in waves,
Becoming a part of the shore.
Tears streamed from her eyes
Combined themselves with sprays of salted sea
Stopping at her parted lips
And lingering there.
She tasted them
Finding it fitting that it was bitter
Like her betrayed heart
That willingly loved him
And still does

Awake end

In my dream there was only us two
You and I
No worries
No stress
Nothing but plush white bedding and soft luxurious pillows
We lay together
Hands, legs intertwined
Silent but for the deep breathing of contentment
The future but a promise of sunshine
The past already distant on the horizon
When I wake, the image disappears
Try as I may to close my eyes –
To will myself back into bliss –
I fail in conjuring our heaven.
Awakened to reality alone
Its scratchy blankets and cold sheets
Incessant pressures smother me.

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