Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Paintings in the sky
Faces in the fading light...
London, ON, October 2009
A friend of mine has been e-mailing me from far, far away with perspectives on what it's like to move through loss. His family suffered an unimaginable tragedy a few years back, and his hard won experience has been instrumental in helping me lay down some roots from which I can begin to grow into whatever it is that I'll be afterward.
One of the things he suggested was to focus on a hobby or other familiar activity as a way of giving my mind a break from the otherwise constant context of sadness. Thankfully I've got a few. I had brought my camera with me to Montreal because not having it on my shoulder would have made me feel lost - well, more lost than I already was. I didn't take a lot of pictures while we were there, and the times that I did open up the lens were marked by intense internal debate over whether it was or was not appropriate for me to be doing so at that moment.
Even after we returned, albeit temporarily, home, I just didn't feel the urge to capture. I was seeing the world in blacks, whites and greys, and I just couldn't will myself to take in my surroundings in my usual three-dimensional color as I thought through each composition. I grabbed the occasional snap from my BlackBerry, but I'm sure when I work up the desire to look at them they'll be as pallid as my mood.
This past Thursday night, though, my friend's words bounced around my head. I was walking the dog and noticed the sky setting up for a spectacular post-sunset. After bringing him back home (wiggly puppy + camera = lousy photos), I picked up the camera bag and told the kids I was talking a walk alone. I wandered a few blocks away from the house, toward a large park that offered somewhat decent sky views. The shadows were already deepening, but the sky offered enough varied light to make it worth my while.
I'm still not quite sure what to make of what I captured on my memory card that night, but it marked a brief moment where I could once again see in color, however muted.