My brother, my father and me, circa 1974

So much revel in throwing stuff away: to be recycled, where possible, one adds, but the joy lies most in the feeling of having cleared space; yet on my desk is a lightly corroded camera battery that I can't quite bring myself to drop into the bin.
Boy has opted to study photography, a balance to his sciences and history. We have dug out my father's old cameras; an OM10, an OM20, a couple of Tamron lenses. Film is a mystery to digital age Boy, so I sprung open the back of a camera body and yelped because there was a film in it. The odds on there being any pictures are slim, but I shall try developing it. Boy was two when my father died- there might even be a photograph of Small Boy to discover.
I bought some new batteries to power the cameras back to life. Boy prised out the old ones with a cotton bud, handed each one to me as it came free. Quite corroded, the first three, but the last one had a shiny flat surface. I kept it in my hand. I read it: 357 Rayovac, Dad always liked a name brand. Something talismanic about the thing, like it ties up time, loops two moments; the bearded serious man loading a good battery; the studious young man clearing space.  

Boy, 2011


  1. Yikes, you had to pick a battery, didn't you? My laptop battery died yesterday afternoon. Grrrr. Now I am on direct current and if the cats swoop by and hit the plug, I'm toast.

    The crazy thing is, it's better to buy a new lappy than a battery.

    Kids know nothing about film. It's funny how much 15 years or so make a difference in technology. Wonder where we will all be in 20?

  2. In 20, maybe no one will know about batteries... doesn't solve your problem quite fast enough though, eh?! Good luck with the DC Jeremy- hope the cats don't feel swoopy...

  3. Oh, Lils. First, I was drawn in by your beautiful family picture but then I was filled with the mystery of your conclusion. Talismanic. I'll have to chew on that for a while.

  4. Such a strong sense of overlapping time! I know it's in my mind, rather than the battery- but I still have it on my desk. It is rather odd.


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