Seems like the word “balance” has become my mantra of late. Balance in what I eat, in how I move, in what is allowed in my life and what must go. Balance in material acquisitions, not allowing my “I gotta have that!” nature to rule the roost.
An “I gotta have that!” nature with a “are you nuts? We’re flat broke!” reality. Not the greatest mix, really.
And yet, there is a time to put forth, and a time to restrain from putting forth. For example, I went shopping for a tripod recently, to use for both video and still photography.
In case you didn’t know, my wife takes excellent pictures, some of which I am determined to sell prints of in our Etsy store, which exists but hasn’t actually started up yet because I haven’t taken the time to set up business policies, and I have no head for that sort of thing so I’m sure if I do it, I’ll end up making a policy that will, in fact, make sure that anything we ever create will be the total property of someone in a far country that I can’t even pronounce the name of, and they will end up getting my vital organs shipped to them before I’m done using them (the organs, not the person or the Etsy store, although that would be pretty funny) because, legally, my butt is theirs.
Can you tell I have some unresolved anxiety issues? Yeah. Anyway, the tripod…
We had kind of a number in mind to spend on the tripod, so I went with that number in mind, and a list of requirements for the tripod. It must have a video head, to allow for smooth movement, since a sticky tripod results in mutterings from and frustration for my beloved. She argues with inanimate objects. Loudly. With great passion and depth. But usually when Ezri and I are the only ones in the room. And we’re not telling. What happens with Vicki, stays in us.
It must be sturdy, to resist the occasional tap or biff of a stray something just when the shot of the century is within grasp. But it must not be so sturdy that he who will most likely be carrying it around for she who must be honored like the Proverbs 31 kind of gal she is, will not be bearing Stonehenge to and fro.
It must be tall, to shoot over the melon heads of concertgoers, (of whom I am chief, chief of melons that is) but be able to become short, to shoot the cuteness of Ezzie the Wonder Dog, doing those canine things that cause us to forgive her for various and sundry canine “indiscretions.”
So the extremely helpful and kind salesperson joined me as I embarked on my quest to find The One Tripod to bring them all and in the darkness bind them, or at least shoot them. Photograph them, I mean.
The lovely and patient salesperson began with my ideal number, taking my list of necessary and good features to avoid the displeasure of she who must be loved and pampered for all the crapola she’s had to put up with for the last 28 years, and showing me the possibilities of tripodage.
While there were some good candidates in that group, none of them shone with a golden light, signifying to all present that this was The One.
And so, I had a decision to make. A time to hold back, a time to put forth. Two levels up from my original number, The One Tripod was waiting for me. Us. Vicki. Because I certainly won’t ever be strapping this puppy to my trike and taking it along for some trail photos on my daily ride. No, certainly not. Nope.
The One Tripod to rule them all is tall, but can be made short, is sturdy, but will not throw out the back of he who will probably toting the tripod for she who must be cherished and adored, and has, most importantly of all, Parameters. The kind worth waiting 63 weeks for.
(That was a Jungle Jam quote, since most of you probably didn’t recognize it. It’ll make Vicki laugh when she reads it. Or, as I so frequently call her, she who must be made to laugh, or at least I keep trying to make her laugh – audibly, not internally)
It has a smooth moving head, the gentle gliding of which makes strong men weep just to behold it. (and even brings a tear to the eye of GirlyMen like me) It has twisty handles, allowing each movement of the tripod head to be accessed without having to unscrew this, adjust that, tweak the other thing, offer a plushy goat sacrifice that it might hear you and grant your request, or any other cumbersome nonsense.
It offers mutter-free, frustration-free operation, that the artist might become one with the tripod. See the tripod, BE the tripod. Ezri and I will have no new tales to tell in the course of this tripod’s life with us.
It is sturdy, but elicited no groans or pain as he who will be toting the thing all over tarnation brought it out to the sleigh. And Gracie (the sleigh) did not drop in dismay or bottom out her springs when the tripod was lovingly placed in her rear compartment. And yet it is sturdy enough that a stray wind, a tiny dog, an ill-timed leaf, or an errant toddler won’t knock it over.
A determined toddler, on the other hand, will take this puppy out, being as they are, a force of nature that rivals Revelation-size wrath in destructive power. Hopefully we won’t encounter too many Mach 5 toddlers…
There is a time to put forth, and a time to hold back. It was time to stretch a little, to buy The One Tripod, ponying up more scratch than we initially were hoping to, and getting much more One Tripod than we were expecting, up to the challenge of ruling them all, finding them, bringing them all and in the darkness binding them.
So goes the Sacred Balance, learning that even in a piddly little thing like choosing a tripod, it’s alright to put forth – not in all things but on occasion. It’s also good to hold back, with careful thought, prayer and contemplation. While I don’t think it’s necessary to fast and meditate for 40 days to pick out a new shirt, it is good to mindfully consider where it fits into what you already have.
Unless you’re at the Goodwill store, that is. All rules are suspended at the door of the Goodwill store.
Give and take. Put forth and hold back. Living life aware, mindfully, intentionally. In large and small things, in material things, physical things, mental things, and spiritual things. Balance and mindfulness, trying not to allow the mundane mud of everyday life to reduce all to a dull grey. Seeing color and pattern and purpose in every day, every hour, every moment.
To have life, and have it abundantly. The Sacred Balance.