For three days, I’ve scoured the house and both cars, cleaning as I went (which is a good thing) to find my little purple camera, which is lost (a bad thing). “Oh, no! We lost another camera! What is wrong with us?” Ken asked me when we first noticed it was missing. “It’s right here somewhere. It’s not lost,” I said, determined that it wouldn’t be.
You see, we have a history of leaking cameras. In the last year, we (the collective family since no one knows for sure who last used it) lost Forest’s new little red camera, and Daniel lost his camera in Costa Rica by dropping it into a river. We probably would have lost Natalie’s little pink camera too if she didn’t hide it from us. The list of lost cameras behind us goes way back.
When I married Ken, he had a propensity for losing wallets and keys. Many of our early dates were spent retracing his steps. Our sons, as they came into being, mastered the art of losing glasses, retainers and important papers for school. Despite being the hunting hound for the men in my family for years, I thought I was immune to losing things, but lately I’m discovering, to quote from Elizabeth Bishop’s great poem, “One Art,” “The art of losing isn’t art to master.”
I’ve lost cameras, spouses of many socks, various friends and family, assorted parts of my body’s interior and exterior, and little specks of my mind. On the other hand, I’ve lost enough stupidity to tell myself, “It’s just a camera. Get over it,” and then head out into the giving world to find another one.