Yet again I have fallen foul of that powerful emotion, Love At First Sight. I have generally found going to a camera fair without a shopping list to be unwise and this time it was about as unwise as it gets. With no specific purchase in mind, I wander the stalls browsing the myriad cameras, lenses and other doo-dads set out to tempt me. One regular stallholder arranges the front of his table with boxes of ephemera; lens caps, obscure remote switches, scratched sunlight filters. And behind these deceptively cheap defensive lines stand the real prizes, desirable vintage cameras strut their stuff on the back shelf in the hope of effecting a relocation before the day is out.
I have been tempted at this stall before, but my purchases stayed in the realms of the incidental. This time my eye was drawn immediately centre stage, to a pristine Rolleiflex. Oh my. The light glinted off the chrome-effect lens cap and I was in love. Holding this treasure in my hands felt so right it took great strength of mind to put it back down. But put it down I did, to spend the rest or the morning with that memory burning a hole through the synapses of my self control. With the end of the fair approaching rapidly, it was crunch time: would I be taking the Rollei home with me or not? Eventually I succumbed and emotion ruled the day. An exchange of used notes, a handshake and I walked away heady with excitement at my new acquisition.
It fascinates me how my mind plays games with me. You can’t afford it, put it back. You don’t need another film camera. You could buy a cheaper one, lots of stalls have them. Yes, but…will I regret it when I get home? It really is lovely. Just wait and see if it’s there at the end. Let fate decide. If it’s gone, it wasn’t meant to be after all. How I like to abdicate responsibility and let the Universe decide! However, sometimes stepping back from this process in a conscious way, to watch the drama unfolding inside you. is remarkably relaxing.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating that you relinquish control completely to drift every which way the wind blows you. We need some structure to guide us along the path. Else the bank account would soon be empty and the house full of impulse purchases. But mulling it over, taking time and yes, being indulgent every now and then. Who knows what is around the next corner? Universe, thank you for my new Rolleiflex!