Lost: Marbles

Normally, taking pictures is almost alienating. You hunker down in a puddle, you point the camera at some dude kayaking naked down the Thames or shove the lens of the camera up some bumblebee's butt--a bird starts to nest in your hair as you wait for the shot, passersby look at you like you're some kind of technologically-endowed hobo, dogs piddle on your leg... really, it's a bit humbling. It doesn't usually bring people together. It just makes them think you're strange.

 

Except -- except!

 

Except when you find a kindred spirit.

 

So, I'm out in the rainforest around the Volcano Village Lodge, and I'm taking macro photos of leaves and flowers and (as pictured), waterdrops.

 

And, who should emerge from the foliage like the presumptive Doctor Livingston, but...

 

...another photographer. With a Canon XSi around his neck. Taking shots in the rainforest.

 

No more wary stares, no more gentle reaches for the cell phone to punch in a quick "911." The guy's name was Noel (er, I think -- I have a brain like a sieve) and his wife was Carmen and they were on their honeymoon and so on and so forth. But the real trick was that he was out there in the wet jungle, snapping shots, too. It's like finding a lost member from your forgotten tribe.

 

Weird postscript to the tale: we ate at a restaurant called Merriman's at the end of the week, which is 100 or so miles from Volcano. There, we actually saw Noel and Carmen again, along with another couple we'd seen at the restaurant in Volcano. It's a Big Island in a small world.

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Taken on January 26, 2009