Jim surprised me when he bought me, for Christmas, a much nicer camera. We had discussed my getting one, but later: you know, when I don't have two (destructive!) toddlers and an infant and, therefore, more children needing a hand than hands. When I don't break tons of things, myself, out of exhausted carelessness.
It took a couple weeks for me to get up enough nerve to pull my new camera out of the box. I used only a prime lens (on automatic focus) for a couple more.
Saturday, though, the three little ones all went down for a nap at the same time. Jim and Mom were here, so I asked Dad to walk with me. I took my camera and all my lenses, and I practiced--for the first time in my life, really--taking photos of things, not people. I had so much fun that, nap-time Sunday, I scurried straightaway out into the yard with my camera. This time, I was alone.
So many of you grasp the mysteries of a camera with interchangeable lenses; I'd never even tried to understand my point-and-click. Don't laugh, but I felt very brave in switching from automatic to manual focus on a zoom lens.
It was cold outside, and a few small patches of snow remained on the ground. And it's a little embarrassing, really, but--before I knew it--my jeans were wet from kneeling. I just couldn't get over the fact that I could make myself and my camera as still as possible and see such wildly different things through the lens.
The view changed drastically as I zoomed, but I was even more fascinated in playing with the focus. I realized that--even after I'd decided where I was going to look, and from what distance--I could change my focal point. I could capture countless different images within the same view-finding rectangle, even making details appear and disappear at will!
I realized: as much fun as I thought I'd had with my point-and-click, I'd been giving the camera most of the control. I could almost hear my new camera whisper-ask: "What do you want me to see?" And--as I answered silently with my hands, in just the few ways I know--I experienced more of a creative high than I had in a long time.
And then it came upon me in an epiphanous rush: there are so many more variables to what is than I'm capable of fathoming. In one sense, my human eye (being part of my human body), sees only what little is in front of it. In another sense, my human eye struggles in focusing in on one detail among all those it can see. Hard to explain, but my human eye sees both too little and too much.
Perhaps this is why Paul writes of our seeing through a glass, darkly (I Corinthians 13:12).
I look out of my human eye, this morning, and whisper-ask of God: What do you want me to see? Show me, Lord.