Jeff and Sandy and Theo and Kody came for a visit. Jeff and I were roommates in Memphis for medical school. Kody had a birthday. Lots of chocolate, an enormous lollipop, etc. I asked if I could make pictures of them all. I asked Rose to hold the flash off camera (great assistant) and we bounced the light off the ceiling, using a diffuser. Theo started asking questions about the strobe, light, bouncing. He stopped talking, cocked his head and smiled. He picked up three bottle caps and made a perfect golden reflector to help out. The whole concept sunk in so fast. I was watching synapses connect in real time. Delight is not a word I use a lot, but he it was delight in his eyes when he perfectly applied the idea his mind learned seconds before.
Kids are masters at learning. The joy is the payoff that keeps them coming back – until the world substitutes money for joy and then the light in the eyes starts the inexorable dimming.
When I pay attention to the joy, the part in me that falls into alignment when I learn something like Theo did during our portrait session, it is almost unspeakable. I can feel it roll into me like the perfect way a bowling ball returns to the rack – right speed, natural fit, the groove, the little clunk that lets you know it is back. I am not going out and finding something; more like something has come home to me. I love that.