Monday, October 19, 2009

The open road - redux

Who's gonna drive you home?
Somewhere on the 401 Eastbound, October 2009

I've been focusing on the road a lot lately (link), likely because it's a place that circumstance dictates we'll be quite familiar with in the months and years to come. Unless we move back to Montreal (not likely...roots don't unroot easily) we'll be covering the 401 and related highways to keep close to family and friends. There are some things, after all, that webcams and headsets just can't do. Like give hugs. Or receive them.

When we hit the road, my retentive-driver ethos compels me to be behind the wheel. But when my wife drives, I often take the camera out and play with it until one of the following things happens:
  1. I get nauseous beyond belief (reading or focusing on small objects in a moving car + Carmi = one bad combo)
  2. She gets annoyed beyond belief (I do that to her. And to everyone else around me, apparently.)
But in the smidgen of time that I have, I sometimes take something that isn't blurred, washed out or otherwise so technically maligned that not even my own mother would lie and say she likes it.

This picture, unspectacular as it is, puts me in a place I don't want to be, a place we'll have to occupy for some time, a place - if you can call something so transient a place - that for some can be an adventure, but for others is merely lonely and sad.

I like to look at pictures I've taken because they often bring me right back to what I was feeling when I took them. It doesn't matter whether that feeling is sunny or grey - it's a journey all the same. And I'm always happy to take it as long as I've got my family around me. On this day, as much as I didn't want to be on this road, I was comforted that I wasn't alone.

Your turn: The (open) road too often traveled. Please discuss.

One more thing: Those leaves appeared on the dashboard just before we left for Montreal, a gift for my wife from the kids. I kept them there for the entire journey, a reminder that life is precious.


Klaatu said...

I drive the open road every day. In a transport truck.In Toronto traffic. Fun? NO. Is it better than sitting in an office with a manager breathing on me while they look over my shoulder? YES.
Is it better than being on an assembly line, counting every widget that goes by as another moment of my life wasted? YES.
Before I became a professional driver and worked indoors, every spare moment was on a motorcycle. When I was on the road all the time, that passion faded.
Now there are times when my wife and I hop in the car and have wonderful moments as together time, as there are no other people to distract us ,and scenery to share and discuss.
As your kids grow up, go for afternoon drives with them one-on-one, and you will probably find they will be more conversant than they would be in front of the t.v.. and you will have the same wonderful moments with them as you do when you and your wife go for a drive.

Mojo said...

When I was a young buck of 16 with a newly minted drivers license, the road was THE place to be. Somewhere in the intervening I'm-not-saying-how-many years it's become more of a way to get from A to B. No doubt the cost of fuel and a heightened awareness of carbon emissions has sucked some of the joy out of driving that I once knew. But every now and then I feel the urge load up the dog and the camera and point the truck at the horizon. Once in a very great while I even indulge that urge.

And when the open road brings me to sights like these, it's all worth it.
Thematic Photographic 71: "Open" v.5.0 - Open For Bids
Thematic Photographic 71: "Open" v.6.0 - Open Court

Linda said...

I do occasionally take pictures when I drive...I try to be careful about it. I don't look through the view finder...I just hope for the best. Got some neat sunrise photos from the side view mirror recently. Must post them.

I spend a lot of time driving, but it is because I like to drive, nothing more.

kenju said...

I only like being on the open road when the destination is somewhere I want to be - or leads me to someone I want to see.

Mojo said...

Heh. I notice Linda confessed to one of my vices: Drive-By Photography. I have to admit, I've been guilty of it, and actually gotten some good stuff that way despite not being able to compose or focus with any kind of care at all. I generally only attempt this trick when there's little or no traffic around though.

And I certainly didn't get this shot that way:
Thematic Photographic 71: "Open" v.7.0 - Open Wheel