I ran inside like a lost deer, not knowing what to do but check to see if it was in my room. It wasn't - almost nothing was since it was the last day of my lease and I was moving out. But of all the things in the car, only the camera was taken (admittedly it was really the only thing of immediate, obvious value in there...).
When the realization sunk in that I had lost my camera to theft, I let out a weak "no..." as my knees began to shake and I collapsed on the floor. I cried, felling helpless, violated, and suddenly valueless to the world. Photos and writing have become my way of trying to make the world a better, happier place, and the criminal couldn't have taken anything more valuable to me (other than my notebooks, which, luckily aren't of much value to a thief).
After about an hour of crying I found the strength to call my mom and proceed to cry to her.
After about a half hour of crying to my mom and having her try to calm me down, I agreed to go to the police station and report the theft. Of course while there, I cried at the burly police officer taking the report. To his credit, he did his best to be sympathetic to me in a manly way. He probably hadn't been cried on by a 6'3", 220 lb. bearded man before.
Seriously though, I am not much of a crier. My camera is/has become my identity, and my way to provide value to the world - and the thought of it being taken from me made me sick to my stomach.
I felt angry towards the thief; I wanted to punch them in the nuts and take my camera back and do anything horrible I could to them. But, I didn't know who the criminal was, every person that walked down the street by my house became a suspect - I glared at them and refused to say hi. I became angry at the world.
Well, here's the thing that I already knew but re-learned. Being angry at the world solves nothing and only serves to make me unhappy and keeps you from realizing your full potential. It's no way to live a life. Drew Canole talks about being abused as a child and how violated and angry he felt because of it. However, he didn't begin to thrive in his own life until he forgave his father and went further - he thanked his father for bringing him into this world.
No, I wasn't abused but I figured Drew's lessons could be applied beyond his context to help me out. I have forgiven the thief, and I pray for them that they will get more joy out of the camera than I did, even if that joy is just from money made selling it. I feel better. I can move on.
As for the website and my photography, I have two options: I can move on without a camera, try to focus on writing and other forms of art (block paintings?), or I could try to start some sort of a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to get another...
Please tell me via comments, email, letters, texts, etc if my photos inspire you to become a better person through wilderness adventures or if you would like to see 'the photographer without a camera' idea explored further.
Thanks for reading, y'all. Be well, have happy journeys, and keep being awesome.