the painful roll




While away on my 20th anniversary road trip, we traveled the Historic Route 30.  It was green and lush. We couldn’t take enough pictures.  With each snap of my Hasselblad’s shutter, I would think to myself, “This will be my favorite roll.”   I believed it to be true… until pulled the film cassette out and saw that I had never loaded a roll at all.




How could this be?  I just sat there, my heart beating, knowing that each shot was now lost for ever.  The small flowers….. the wet road…. the vibrant green ferns…. they were never captured.




As I sat there, Andy began to console me.  He knew my pain.  He had a roll ruined earlier on the trip and knew the shock of it all.  I remember the five minutes we just sat silently in the car… me holding my empty magazine and him holding me.  Words and actions were not needed.  I knew he understood my disappointment and sadness and it made the weight of it all easier to bear.




After a few minutes of mourning, I dried my tears and put in a new roll.  Andy went back to a few stops I especially liked so I could “recapture” it all.   It wasn’t the same, but it did help me feel better. That is the thing about pain, when someone sits in it with you, without rushing you to move on, you seem to be able to hold it easier. And with that extra dose of power, you seem to be able to let it go and go forward.  It is especially nice when the person is willing for you to go back and redo the road marked with pain, because we all need a mulligan every once and agin.



To read more about pain, go to Allison’s blog, and then continue through the blog roll.

Staci Lee

I like my cameras old, my shoes comfortable, and my whiskey neat.


  • I can’t imagine the shock and I’m so glad you had someone to sit with. You are one that sits with others well in their pain.

    • Thank you, friend. You have been there many times and sat with me. I am thankful for that.

  • Isn’t that just the worst? So glad you had Andy for comfort…and looking at these beautiful re-captures, I can’t imagine anything could be better.

    • Thank you. The light was so gentle the first time around. That is the thing about light, it just gives you that moment and you must live in it right then.

  • I remember you saying this on your travels, but didn’t know you got to go back and shoot some over. That is so great. I’m sorry you missed out on some, but you have these treasures instead. 🙂

  • This story still makes me sad. I feel the same way when I write something that I especially love, and then find that I’ve deleted the file and I know I’ll never get the turn of phrase the same way again. It’s a moment, and it’s gone. But the love of that hunk of a husband of yours…and the love of all of us who adore you won’t change with the moving of the sun. I promise.

  • I had this happen to me after a trip to India. I was gutted. I’m so sorry even months later for your pain…

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