Saturday, April 09, 2016

My Spirit Sensor

Charleston, North Carolina has become a new favorite haunt for us.

We've been twice within a year. We'll go again, don't you fear, and we'll go again after that. We've fallen in love with the lowcountry.

Of the many places we've seen, visited, and dined, a favorite of the haunts are the cemeteries.

You may go on the carriage ride where the man giving the tour is dressed up in a shrugged-up suit and dirty sneakers, where parents hold onto their partially sleeping children, but we'll be on the ground watching as you pass, the horse pooping in the bag attached to it's rear-end.

We'll wave at you, but we're on our way to the cemetery.

It's so Tim Burton-esque.

You'll listen to the history given by a tour guide, and we'll just walk through history, checking out all the old gravestones.

During the past two tours of Charleston, many hours have been spent walking around on-site cemeteries that are governed by the historical churches, their steeples an ample part of the skyline. These places are filled with aged marble, stone, low-hanging trees, and names that don't exist in our vernacular. Paths, worn between the markers, led us through the lives and deaths of Charleston residents, natives, foreigners and history-makers.


Last year, we spent the better part of our morning walking through the different grave sites. I was loaded up with my photography arsenal: around my neck was my new Nikon DSLR, in my pocket was my cell phone for panoramas, in my bag was my GoPro, and around my wrist was my Polaroid Cube.

Unbeknownst to many, the Polaroid Cube is a much cheaper version of the GoPro. It's a small camera, barely an inch in width and height, that shoots wide-angle photos and video. This camera was housed in a bright blue turquoise silicone, and it was attached by a lanyard around my wrist.

You can't hook the Cube up to your phone, and there is no screen, so when you take a picture, you've got no idea what the end product will look like. It has brought back a spontaneity to digital photography that is often missing.

As I walked through the cemeteries, the Cube hung from my left wrist, dangling until I needed it. Most of my photos were taken with my Nikon DSLR. At one instant, scampering across a gravestone attached to the brick, I noticed a tiny lizard scrambling across the surfaces.


I checked the screen to make sure I was happy with my shot, and as I did, a lady approached me.

She looked at the turquoise contraption hanging from my left wrist.


"Is that a spirit censor?" she asked, fascinated with the device.

To her credit, since I was moving around, it swung left and right, as if it picked up the spirit of Mr. Pickney. With each sway, I was closer to a dead person's plasma.

"It's actually a camera," I said, showing her.

"I've never seen one like that before," she said, hiding her embarrassment.

"Well, I figured you haven't," I wanted to say, since I'm assuming she can barely handle her iPhone, nonetheless know about the latest gadgets available in digital photography.

Instead, I just smiled.

And went on photographing tombstones.

And sensing spirits.