I've got a friend:  ok, more a spooky acquaintance really, who knows everything about pinhole cameras.  History, construction, techniques, materials, tricks, etc.  You go in his house and there are pinhole cameras everywhere. Pretty interesting even if you are not that interested in pinhole cameras.  Anyway, if you ever wake up in a sweat in the middle of the night and you absolutely positively need to know something about pinhole cameras this is the guy you are going to call.  He's a collector, and collectors know everything.

 

MEMORY PEARLS

I've got a friend:  ok, more a spooky acquaintance really, who knows everything about pinhole cameras.  History, construction, techniques, materials, tricks, etc.  You go in his house and there are pinhole cameras everywhere. Pretty interesting even if you are not that interested in pinhole cameras.  Anyway, if you ever wake up in a sweat in the middle of the night and you absolutely positively need to know something about pinhole cameras this is the guy you are going to call.  He's a collector, and collectors know everything.

I went through all the usual suspects in the world of collecting: stamps, feathers, sea shells, rocks, bird's eggs, leaves, etc; but what finally grabbed me and never let go was door knobs.  I collect door knobs.  I have hundreds of door knobs of every conceivable (and inconceivable) size, shape, construction, historical interest, and material.  It's a fascinating hobby and I am proud to say that I know probably as much about door knobs as my pinhole camera friend knows about pinhole cameras. My friend said he could make me a pinhole camera shaped like a door knob.  I may take him up on it.  Anyway, the thing is; door knobs are in doors.  So, to have a collection of door knobs I guess it's kind of like stealing.  Collectors call it 'collecting'.  Apparently crime in service to obsession distorts reality. Sometimes life can be hard:  bouncing between the moral absolutes of what you know is right, versus what you want. It can be difficult to be a collector.

 

I went through all the usual suspects in the world of collecting: stamps, feathers, sea shells, rocks, bird's eggs, leaves, etc; but what finally grabbed me and never let go was door knobs.  I collect door knobs.  I have hundreds of door knobs of every conceivable (and inconceivable) size, shape, construction, historical interest, and material.  It's a fascinating hobby and I am proud to say that I know probably as much about door knobs as my pinhole camera friend knows about pinhole cameras. My friend said he could make me a pinhole camera shaped like a door knob.  I may take him up on it.  Anyway, the thing is; door knobs are in doors.  So, to have a collection of door knobs I guess it's kind of like stealing.  Collectors call it 'collecting'.  Apparently crime in service to obsession distorts reality. Sometimes life can be hard:  bouncing between the moral absolutes of what you know is right, versus what you want. It can be difficult to be a collector.

 

I don't crave the future because explaining to St. Peter at the gate to heaven that I have spent thirty years stealing door knobs is going to be a challenge.  All the more of a challenge when he says:

 "Couldn't you just have taken pictures of the door knobs?  Didn't you ever hear of photography?"

There is probably somebody involved in the administration of heaven just waiting for a good photographer to come up and do a photo documentary on the harp factory.  Nobody is waiting for someone to come up and steal God's door knobs.  Some things are hard to explain.   Sometimes a picture is just not enough for me.  If someone is on a photo safari and they are sticking up through the roof of a Land Rover vehicle like a meerkat sentinel in order to take a picture of an African wart hog it never occurs to them to take the wart hog home.  The photo is enough.  Me, I want the door knobs.  I can have most door knobs out of most doors in less than a minute.

But sometimes timing can go askew.  A maid, or a security guard, or a home owner, or a hotel guest suddenly appears and you don't have time to make the entry in the log, wrap the door knob in tissue paper, and box it.  You are maybe in trouble and you have to move fast.  Just jam the tools in your pocket, stuff the door knob in your pants, and move fast down the hallway.  It can be embarrassing.

So for that reason, I envy the photography enthusiast.  For them the picture is enough.  Their pictures are like a timeline string of memory pearls that allow them to review and consider their life in dignified contemplation.  Each photo represents a unit of their life like a photon from the sun.  The camera is the sun and the photos give life. 

There is another reason why photography is great.  Photography leaves a clean wake.  Except for the people who might complain that taking their picture 'steals their souls', the photographer can happily click away knowing that he is doing no damage.  No awkward conversations later with Saint Peter as you are interviewing to get into heaven.  You can show him album after album of wart hogs, or flowers, or door knobs you took pictures of and there is no problem.  Just shared happiness.  God bless and God blesses photography.  Me, I've got problems.  Saint Peter is not going to let me in if he suspects that he will catch me backing out the set screw on one of God's door knobs.  Heaven is paradise but there are rules.  That is why I envy photographers.  They don't have to defend what they do:  to each other, or to others.  They belong to a happy race of aficionados that people envy and respect.

Me, I want the doorknobs

 

Saint Peter is not going to let me in if he suspects that he will catch me backing out the set screw on one of God's door knobs.  Heaven is paradise but there are rules.  That is why I envy photographers.  They don't have to defend what they do:  to each other, or to others.  They belong to a happy race of aficionados that people envy and respect.