Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Everything's temporary

Color, for now
Laval, QC
October 2018
Photo originally shared on Instagram
At 7:32 a.m. on a wet, miserable Saturday, I walked the quiet streets of the neighborhood around my father-in-law's condo one last time before we needed to finish packing the car and start the long drive home. I do this when I travel: Take quick walkabouts whenever/wherever I can to try to remember the story of the trip in pixels. On this grey morning slowly being drenched with an intensifying drizzle, I knew the colors would be muted, the results less than worthy. But once again, I reminded myself it wasn't about the pictures so much as the process behind them. I needed this time alone.

Looking at this photo, shot from the same bridge where as children my friends and I used to ride our bikes until we couldn't feel our fingers from the cold, all I can see is how temporary everything in the frame is. The leaves will soon wither and die. Their reflections in the water below aren't real - just an optical fluke based on where I happened to be standing at that moment. Even the water is temporary, set to be replaced by thick ice as winter moves into this quiet neighborhood on a tree-covered island.

Ephemeral as they are, the elements in this pic still managed to freeze the moment, to take me back to what it felt like when I was standing on that bridge, wondering how I had gotten there, and where I would go next. My wife was waiting for me back at the house, and all I needed to know was that next leg of the journey would be taken with her. Our chaotic, uncertain life these days notwithstanding, that's pretty much all that matters to me. Isn't it funny how one person can make the unfathomable feel somehow manageable?

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