why things break

“if you force it, it’ll break.” he’d always say. i was clumsy, he’d remind me of this. “you always break my stuff.” he’d say, but it wasn’t true. well, except for that $400 fishing pole when river was four months old.

things broke by accident back then, from sleep deprivation.

since then i’ve learned that things also break from simply being worn out. things break from too much love, from overuse {or from lack thereof as well.} marriages break, teeth break, as do cars and windows and laptops. even relationships as we know them break, shatter, splatter, explode and erupt. 

everything breaks.

things break spontaneously without another thought for goodbye. things break and there’s no going back. things break to show you how much people love you, see you, feel you, want to fix you.  things break and you see other hearts reaching out to help.  and it makes the loss of things you love sting a little bit less.

things break to force the letting go. the giving it all up to something bigger, someone more trustworthy with tinkering and tiny screws and worn out old camera shutters. things break to make room for the next big step towards a career. i have to believe this. i do believe this.

things break to remind you that nothing is forever.  that mom will die. and so will i. that yes, there will be wheelchairs and hospice and empty shells of people with swiss cheese for brain matter where once there was joy and laughter. nothing is forever and people die too young and yet there is still so much beauty waiting to be seen. life waiting to grow and sprout up from all things rotting and decomposed.

i am not my camera but it’s the thing that partnered up with me when i felt i could do it no longer.  the thing that carried me through, gave me eyes. sparked a passion, a career.  so when these things break, it gets all up in my head and throws questions at myself like a sick and twisted game of dodgeball.  who am i? am i this thing i think i am? this thing that feels most right in existence? how do i keep it going and make it all work?

friday was a no good very bad day. one that turned around with river’s insistence on my photography. on that recognition of me. momma is a photographer.

“momma! take a picture of me! this picture can go in that gallery in houston! momma when i grow up can i be a photographer with you in that gallery? momma take a picture of me in this tree! you can tell your friends that i am your son and i am 14. because i look 14.” 

i believe in myself when he believes in me.
and then…

my camera broke. the shutter died of exhaustion perhaps. i have no idea. but if these are the last photos she gave me, she will have died happy. and i am thankful for all the beauty she has given me, shown me, shared with me.

so i’m a little sad and worried and anxious about what this means for tomorrow and the days beyond. and i’m a little distraught by how i’ll wrangle another camera out of the universe and into my hands.

we shall see…

one thing i know for certain today is that things break and mothers raise their boys single-handedly and grey hairs sprout and crows feet land and bad moods rise and love exists and things break and life moves on.