Thursday, October 08, 2009
Ingersoll, ON, September 2009
On the last stop before arriving home, I stood outside the wondervan while Debbie picked up some snacks inside with the kids. It was unseasonably, shockingly cold and windy, and I suddenly seemed underdressed in my sandals, cargo shorts and hoodie. But still, I stood there, because it nevertheless felt good to have the cold air on my face. It reinforced that I was still alive and that I could still feel.
As I waited in this transient place, I found myself staring at the fuel pumps across the parking lot. This little island of light in the middle of a forgettable night seemed so mournful, so uninviting to anyone who had some extra time and was looking for a place to hang. But still, I stared.
And I took out my camera. Because that's one of the things I do when I need to feel normal, myself. And I leaned carefully against the car, relaxed every fibre of my being to compensate for the fact that I was about to shoot handheld in the dark (can we say blur? I knew we could.) As I carefully adjusted the controls, composed the shot and squeezed the shutter, I felt a sense of, if not normalcy, then at least a sense of partial control.
Before long, my brood returned, ready for final leg of a long and difficult journey. As I accelerated onto the onramp, the limitless loneliness of this fluorescent-bathed place in the middle of an endlessly dark road was gradually replaced by the near-musical chatter of three sweet kids, an amazing wife and a feeling deep in my soul that somehow, together, we'd all figure out the next step on our journey as a family.