“You look more youthful.” The words hit me with surprise.
Here I was, gripping a beast of a camera, one on loan from a good friend. I wanted to cry with the pain its weight brought to my arthritic fingers and wrists. But instead, I beamed with happiness. A youthful sort of happiness, as my husband pointed out.
Doing anything with my hands these days is difficult beyond words. My fingers stiffen up as I attempt to open a bottle cap.
I want to scream every time I flip the sticky tabs of a diaper.
Often, it takes a dozen tries to zip up my jacket.
I said “No thank you” to cooking years ago, the pans too heavy and the chopping too painful.
These are signs of Lyme bugs inhabiting my hands. They’ve take up shop there, as well as most of my other joints. And they are stubborn to leave.
It’s been over three years since I had to leave my profession of working with a camera, and two years since I sold my high-end camera to pay for medical bills.
So you can imagine the awkward fumbling that occurred as I held my friend’s camera, the newer version of the one I’d sold. It was so overwhelming that I experienced a full blown anxiety attack.
That tool in my hands felt foreign, yet familiar. I felt incompetent, yet inspired.
The inspiration just took some time to settle enough to overcome the incompetence factor. Turning those knobs and pressing that shutter felt like a long forgotten memory of the past.
When I was young and professional and creative.
When I didn’t have to consider my body’s limits before scheduling a shoot.
The thrill and rush of capturing someone or something, their likeness from that very day forever etched into the memory of a small digital stick. And as a result, etched into the minds of the ones who go back to it, to remember, to reflect, to enjoy.
Oh, oh, oh how I’ve missed this.
What past joys – hobbies or professions – do you miss? What will it take for you to get it back? I’m fighting Lyme with every breath that I have for many reasons.
To be able to work behind a camera again is just one of them.