December 16, 2011
The Germans must have a word for this
Here’s the blog post I was drafting Wednesday:
Dear 5D & 24-70: I don’t know what I did to make you disappear, but on the off chance you read this blog, please come back. I miss you very much. – Love, J.
I was utterly bewildered by it, but I’d begun slowly coming to terms with the disappearance of my camera and big, stupid-expensive lens. The pair had been MIA since Halloween, and all the king’s horses, children, wife, babysitter, and cleaning lady could not find them again.
Thus on Wednesday evening I found myself at San Jose Camera, checking out 60D’s, 7D’s, and stupid-expensive lenses. I was all set to ask your advice on the matter (how’s the 17-55 2.8 lens? are live view and/or a swiveling screen worth a damn? should I maybe go Nikon overall?), and I’d secured a cam or two to borrow from the Photoshop QE locker (one of the best perks of this job). After mourning my loss, I’d started getting excited about having features like video capture.
And then, what do you know, as I was talking to my wife about it at home, my eyes wandered into the china cabinet (never lit except, oddly, at this moment), into a crystal serving bowl… and to the camera!! Our elderly sitter later remembered that she’d stowed it there while the boys were roughhousing–then utterly forgot about it.
And thus we come to the Germans*: Doesn’t it seem they should have a term for “Relieved delight in one’s good fortune, tinged with vague disappointment, seasoned with guilt regarding the disappointment”?
In any case, I’m looking forward to getting the big rig back in action. It’s true I shoot much less with the SLR these days, and yet when you need to nail a shot (e.g. with family visiting for the holidays), “accept no substitutes.” I just can’t miss any more kid photos when the iPhone or even the S95 takes its sweet time to fire the shutter.
Welcome home, boys.
*Interesting read: “A Joyful & Malicious History Of ‘Schadenfreude’“: “By leaving Germanisms untranslated, one always points to the sentiment expressed by the word as fundamentally and even organically German. My favorite, ‘Vergangenheitsbewältigung,’ means roughly to overcome or to come to terms with the past… In Gravity’s Rainbow, Pynchon notes ‘the German mania for name-giving, dividing the Creation finer and finer, analyzing, setting namer more hopelessly apart from named.’ Naming is not only a form of identification or labeling, but also of creation. To the eye, mouth, and ear, capacious German words seem to embody and externalize the weight of difficult emotions.”