My camera died last weekend. Of course, this might need clarification, as I have ten that are always in various stages of film-in, film-out, and repair. But my favourite, always-in-my-bag-ready-for-the-right-moment massive multi-lensed Canon Digital SLR, it's gone for good.
I saved and saved for this camera (my first major electronics purchase!), and it finally became mine a mere two weeks before I boarded a plane to China in April 2006. We've been inseparable ever since, taking more then 28,000 photos (not all of them good). Together we've visited the Gobi desert, the terra cotta warriors, climbed the great wall, been inside the forbidden city and visited amsterdam to explore their tiny cobblestone streets more than once. It's been by my side as I fought seasickness in the Sir Francis Drake Channel, and survived food poisoning in Las Vegas. It's captured dozens and dozens of delicious meals, visited New York, Vancouver, the Finger Lakes, San Francisco, Halifax, Toronto and has captured moments of my daily life in Montreal and Ottawa.
It's come home with me, and been there as I've said goodbye to old houses and said hello to new ones. Without it, there is no way that I would remember the names and level of cuteness of more than 75 foster kittens that we helped to make strong and brave over the course of four years. It's captured new friends and old, places that are familiar, and ones I'd never seen before.
It's kind of stupid, really, to mourn a camera - "It's just a thing!", most people would say. But for almost five years it was my second set of eyes and reminded me daily to look at things in a new way. I'm going to miss it.
And then, obviously, I must replace it.