May 23, 2009

Visiting Brett's Cambridge

Seeing Cambridge through Brett's eyes was truly a gift. He plans to defend his dissertation in September, receiving his doctorate in linguistics. It seems surreal. He lived there two years; our trip lasted only 5 days. He showed us everything special to him, and I took pictures of all that and more. A few times, he gently said, "Mom, put your camera away; you can't take pictures here." The university has rules about photographs and who can be in certain places, and even about who can walk on which grassy areas.
I sensed the whole time that I could easily live there, and live just to take pictures! I felt overwhelmed by the creative possibilities. So little time; so many photographs! I actually felt greedy; I wanted to capture it all and hold the beauty tightly. I learned something about grasping and about letting go; about coveting and conversely, being content. The beauty of this very old city has already been well documented, but I wanted to capture it, just for the sheer joy of doing so. Our camera served me well, and I did, indeed capture some of the beauty of Cambridge. Mission accomplished. Some photos turned out well; a few had to be discarded; and some are quite remarkable in capturing what really was visible.... these I consider my "accidental photography." I wonder if heaven will feel overwhelming in its beauty and scope; I wonder if we will patiently explore or greedily try to soak it all in at once. And I wonder what will take the place of my camera in heaven?