So I stepped outside to get the mail. As soon as I saw the empty mailbox, I realized I'd already gotten the mail. It came back to me what was in it. As I was thinking what an idiot I am (I'm not, just a little forgetful)—I looked up and saw the sun setting. Hmm, I thought, that's kinda pretty. So I went inside to get the camera. But the D800 had no card it in. Told myself again I'm an idiot—I try to be in the habit of leaving clean cards in all my cameras at all times. So I went to get the E-M1, which is next to the computer because I've been writing about it. But a new email had come in. It was from Ctein, so I had to take a quick glance at that. I began composing a reply, then came to and thought, sun's going down!
So I grabbed the camera and went to the front porch again. But now there was a pickup truck.
Now there's photography in a nutshell. Isn't there always a pickup truck?
The driver was in it. Could I ask him to move? No, because the sun had almost disappeared and I only had another minute or two. At least his headlights were on, which looked kinda nice.
I glanced down to check the settings on the still-unfamiliar camera. When I looked up again the pickup's headlights were off and the driver was getting out of it. Three exposures and the sun winks out.
The world always changes on you—often enough just after you know the picture is there and just before you get the picture. If I ever write a book of photo technique, which I never will, I think I should call it "Damn, Now There's A Pickup Truck."
Sometimes the arbitrary inclusions are helpful, though, and that's what you hope for.
• • •
As we do every year, we're about to wink out like the dipping sun, but just for a couple of days. We'll be back on Friday with a seasonal "X" column from Ctein, also an annual tradition.
Meanwhile, I've decided to go along with the conservatives and say "Merry Christmas" to everybody this year, which I've been cheerfully doing. My notion is that Merry Christmas has become as generic as "kleenex" for "tissue." Everyone knows what it means and I can't imagine anyone being offended. It's not like a secret code greeting between co-religionists with prejudice and intolerance implicit in it, subtly pressuring people of other faiths or no faith to conform. No. It simply means "goodwill to you, friend." Even Christmas-ignoring non-Christians understand that. We must resist the pressure to politicize everything.
Also as we do every year, we especially remember those who are sick or hurting, or unemployed or in distress, or dealing with addiction, or facing challenges new or old. We remember those who are lonely at this time of year, perhaps discouraged as they recall happier holidays with loved ones in some manner now departed. We remember you, and have you in our thoughts. If you feel you're among those to whom this holiday is in part a trial, try to find someone who has it worse than you do, and do what you might to raise their spirits. It will make you feel better too.
Merry Christmas to you, and Merry Christmas to all—in goodwill and friendship.
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