Even If They're Not Very Far Away

My mother is a fairly avid binocular user; many times when she would accompany me to a rocky shore or secluded spot in Washington state while I took pictures she pulled out her binoculars and spied on wildlife. She always impresses me by being able to identify less common birds by sight or even description when friends recount what they had spotted. The binoculars are more of a prop for me; something to make me feel a little like Suzy (of Moonrise Kingdom) as I go forth at dawn not for the sake of romantic adventures but to snap a few photographs. Suzy referred to binoculars as her magic power; they made her feel like the heroines in the books she read by giving her better sight than she had on her own. Of course, I already wear glasses or contact lenses so improved vision feels more like a necessity most days than something mystic to me. But I really enjoyed her adolescent enthusiasm, it reminded me of the books I read when I was younger and stories I'd make up in my head about random objects. I remember scribbling down a short story after I found a necklace with a skeleton key on it in a secondhand store. The key obviously had unknown significance and I filled two dozen pages with a daydream about the doors it could potentially unlock and adventures it would take me on.


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