An invitation to a seminar on photography exhorted me to ‘always carry your camera’. Good advice! You never know when and where you will encounter that special picture that you wish you had clicked. We tend to carry our cameras for events and for family pictures, but there are so many other occasions which capture our attention and demand a place in posterity.
Once, while on a shopping trip, I passed the lavish glass doors of a showroom selling chandeliers. The interior view was breathtaking but what engaged my attention were two felines. Large, well-groomed, beautifully marked and well-fed, these two stood side by side on their hind legs and assaulted the glass with their forepaws. It was a sight to behold. No amount of cajoling or fake meowing could distract them. There was something in that showroom which had engaged their attention and hence their frantic tattoo. I waited and watched, but no one came to see what they wanted. There was a food bowl kept nearby, so someone from the shop must have been feeding them and perhaps they wanted a refill. Or maybe their reflection in the glass excited interest. Whatever the reason, this was one ‘picture’ worth recording. I never saw those cats again even though I pass the showroom albeit infrequently.
On another occasion, at the break of dawn while on my way to Mass, I espied a young couple wrapped up in fond embrace. They were so engaged in their gentle affection that they were totally unaware of their unusual audience: three burly street dogs, settled on their haunches, with muzzles pointed in puzzled but hopeful attention. The juxtaposition was at the same time tender and comic and I paused for more than a moment to take it in before walking on with a lilt in my step and a curve to my lips. What a lovely start to the day.
No, I do not have these ‘pictures’ captured on film or chip. They are sketched indelibly on the canvas of memory. But, oh how I wish I had carried my camera.