Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Bird on a synagogue dome

Stand tall
Toronto, ON
July 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Thank you all for the overwhelming response to yesterday's entry on anti-Semitism. I wanted to follow it up not just with words, but with some kind of inflection point, a change.

I took this picture on a muggy evening in Toronto last July. We were wandering the Kensington Market area when we came across a synagogue in the distance. I took a quick picture of the architecture - I had never seen a Star of David perched atop a dome like this - and promptly forgot about it.

Fast-forward to now, and I realize I don't have many overtly Jewish-looking photos in my archives. I rarely bring my camera into synagogues, and I typically don't catalog the examples of Judaica that we have in our home. And if I'm not shooting it, I'm not writing or talking about it, either.

Which got me thinking about how I no longer tell the full story of my name when asked. It's a Hebrew name. It means "my vineyard", and it is my full, non-nickname name. For months, whenever someone new would ask me about my name and my background, I'd simply respond, "Canadian".

I had become so tired of delving into my Judaic background for the benefit of strangers, because I simply didn't want to get into it. Or I didn't trust their intentions. Or both.

Whatever the reason, I realize now that I've been buying into the game that xenophobes play. They revel in calling us out for our differences and simultaneously instilling so much fear in us that we don't dare stand out. They deliberately force us into hiding. It's the Nazi playbook from the 1930s, but let's not kid ourselves: This has been happening for thousands of years.

So I won't play the game. I'll shoot more pictures and tell more stories. And if anti-Semites take issue with Stars of David in their social media feeds, then they're welcome to share their opinion directly with me.

But the days of my keeping quiet for fear of poking the racist bear are over. I'm a Jew. Deal with it.

#toronto #ontario #canada #jewish #judaism #antisemitism #racism #photography #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Monday, December 30, 2019

Light vs. hatred

Always look to the light
Delray Beach, FL
December 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
After a week of terrifying, escalating acts of anti-Semitism, where Jews celebrating Chanukah were attacked with a machete in their rabbi's home, it seems appropriate to share this photo.

Light banishes the darkness of hatred - toward Jews, toward visible minorities, toward all minorities, toward anyone defined as different, or other - that now seems to be spreading like a cancer across the globe. And into our very neighborhoods and homes.

Light sends the message that we will not stop being who we are or stop showing who we are simply because someone - or, let's be frank, many someones - decided to target us.

Light reaffirms that we will not live in fear. Not now. Not ever.

Light counters the insidious lies - from everyday racists and xenohobes and elected officials alike - now being used as foundation, cover, justification for whatever dark forces are at play here.

Light makes it clear that this isn't 1930s Germany - despite the fact that this is what it must have felt like then - and this time, we won't be led like sheep to the slaughter.

Light is the force of good in the face of overwhelming evil.

Light is the signal that evil cannot ever be allowed to win.

Light is the siren call to anyone on the wrong side of hate that silence isn't an option.

Light echoes the heroism of those who have had the courage to fight hatred with everything they've had - and those who have yet to join a battle that never seems to end.

So I won't be silent. And no matter where we all might fall on the spectrum of hate - victim, witness, whatever - neither should we all.

#delray #delraybeach #florida #chanukah #hannukah #howeveritisspelled #jewish #holiday #all #holidays #weareone #antisemitism #photography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Now we just stream it

Abandoned in place
Strathroy, ON
August 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Once upon a time not so very long ago, the way we entertained ourselves looked very different than it does today.

Our kids have vivid memories of pyjama-clad expeditions to the local video store where they’d troll the aisles in search of something worth watching. We’d often spend inordinate amounts of time in there, agonizing over what to bring home. Nobody wanted to make the wrong choice.

Eventually, after much negotiation, some stale popcorn, and perhaps a few spurious tears, we emerged from the store with a stack of VHS tapes - later DVDs - and fast-coalescing plans for the order in which we watched them.

The local video store no longer exists. Streaming services have wiped them off the map, and turned our long-treasured collections of content into dust-covered artifacts, buried in boxes and forgotten in shadowy basement corners.

We’re no longer stuck watching the same thing on the living room TV, either: Kids drift to their own rooms, smartphones, tablets, and even gaming systems stuffed with enough content to keep them busy through - and beyond - adulthood.

And as I stand in front of a long-abandoned video store in a town not far from ours, I wonder what we’ve lost along the way. Sure, we now have more convenience - no panicked runs to the return slot before deadline, and no late fees. But the whole experience is less rich, less, I don’t know, connected.

You don’t need to bundle into your jams for a trip with your family to the video store. The popcorn may no longer be stale, but the memories are nowhere near as strong.

#ldnont #london #strathroy #ontario #canada #urban #street #photography #video #store #retail #ruins #ruinporn #buildings #architecture #architectureporn #architecturephotography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Concrete boxes in the sky

Who lives here?
Toronto, ON
July 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
The stories these concrete balconies in the sky could tell, if only they could talk.

The lives that play out, both on these precarious-looking grey rectangles, and just inside the glass.

The things the folks who live here would see, either through the window or, if they had the courage to venture outside, without any obstruction at all.

What it might feel like to be perched high above the city, the wind in their face, the sounds of traffic far below.

Or whether or not they're happy to be living here in the first place. Because you can never tell, from the outside, what people are really going through.

Each one of these empty porches has its own story, then, and it's just as well that that story will remain known only by whoever lives there.

For all our modern-era fretting over privacy, the big city still manages to keep its secrets.

#toronto #yyz #ontario #canada #photography #monochrome #concrete #building #architecture #architecturephotography #buildingporn #architectureporn #design #lines #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Friday, December 27, 2019

A forlorn sign at the airport

Searching...
London, ON
July 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
I spotted this sign -"Lost Something?" - in our local airport, and it got me thinking.

The answer should be rather obvious: We all grapple with loss. It's a fundamental reality of life.

But you have to have something first in order to then lose it. Indeed, as our respective journeys play out, we accumulate stuff along the way. Hard goods. Experiences. Relationships. Whatever.

And inevitably, we'll lose some of these things - sometimes sooner, sometimes not. And despite the fact that we might think that makes us unique, it doesn't. Everyone loses. Everyone hurts to varying degrees. Everyone deals with it in their own way.

Perhaps that's something to keep in mind as we wind down the year - oops, decade - and reflect on where we've been, where we're headed, and how we'd like to get there.

A little more empathy along the way, for what others have lost and how they're dealing with it, might be a reasonable place to start.

#ldnont #london #yul #ontario #canada #international #airport #flight #airplane #aviation #photography #city #travel #travelphotography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Thursday, December 26, 2019

The man in the yellow t-shirt

Smart Wear Street Sweeper
Toronto, ON
July 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Man in a yellow t-shirt sweeps the street just in front of the Smart Wear store. This is why street photography touches my soul.

#toronto #yyz #ontario #canada #urban #street #streetphotography #photography #stranger #yellow #tshirt #july #2019 #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #google #pixel2 #teampixel #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Story of a Marriage - Part 2

Life's not-so-rich pagaent
Toronto, ON
July 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Zoom in. Zoom out. See something different every time. What the heck am I talking about? Read on...

The previous photo in this series was of a wedding party - bride, groom, bridesmaids, and mother of the bride - apparently taking pictures in a public square near Toronto’s City Hall.

This photo is of the same scene, shot slightly wider. When you pull the lens back, you see things you otherwise would have missed.

Like the homeless man sleeping mere steps away from the happy couple. It’s the quintessential story of haves and have-nots, and the sad tragedies of modern lives playing out in uncomfortable proximity to each other.

My late father used to use the following phrase to describe how he felt anytime he crossed paths with someone he felt was less fortunate than he was: “There but for the grace of God go I.” It’s stuck with me.

He first used it the day I was born, as he sat in the hospital waiting room with another almost-dad. That man’s child experienced a distressed delivery, and was oxygen-deprived long enough to result in multiple lifelong disabilities. My dad, on the other hand, left the hospital with a happy wife and a healthy child.

I still wonder about the razor-sharp margins that separate me from the disabled child who shares my birthday. Or the ones that differentiate the seemingly advantaged family on the right from the clearly disadvantaged man on the left.

Life isn’t fair. It doesn't have to be. It just is. And I feel obligated in some way to observe the hard differences, no matter how unfair they may seem.

Maybe that’s the price we must pay for being haves rather than have-nots. Maybe it's how we ensure we never forget just how good we've got it.

#toronto #yyz #ontario #canada #urban #street #streetphotography #wedding #photography #zoom #parenthood #homelessness #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Story of a Marriage - Part 1

Perfection from above
Toronto, ON
July 2019
This photo originally share on Instagram
On a warm afternoon in July, a young couple got married at Toronto's City Hall, pausing outside to take pictures on this uniquely unforgettable day.

I don't know their names, their back story, or how they have fared since. I was shooting pictures through a hotel room window, high above the bustling public square, from the (very) outside, looking in.

I've done this kind of street photography before, and I'm pretty sure I'll be doing it again, because crowds of strangers can often tell the best stories, even if we never exchange a word with them.

This particular scene tells a typically gauzy wedding story of a perfect bride, lovely bridesmaids, handsome groomsmen, and every last detail looked after by everyone in the wedding party.

But this is photography, and by extension, life. Through my lens, I decided to compose the scene a certain way, carefully shooting the moment to include the elements I wanted, and exclude the ones I didn't.

This photo is the first in a series, the "before" pic, if you will, and it fails to tell the complete story of this fleeting moment on a busy downtown sidewalk.

I'll share the after photo in my next entry, as it tells a somewhat different story than the one we see here. Not better, not worse, just different than the one we're used to seeing on the average wedding day.

What does this have to do with one of the most significant holidays on the calendar, when gifts are shared and everyone is - or should be - reflective and thankful? Lots, and I'll explain more in a bit.

In the meantime, what is your wish for this couple?

#toronto #yyz #ontario #canada #urban #street #streetphotography #wedding #photography #zoom #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Light the world around you

So much potential...
London, ON
December 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Be the light.

Treasure your traditions.

Revel in the traditions of others.

Resolve to be kinder.

Find ways to inspire others.

Repair the world.

Drink in the details.

Carve out time to be together.

Because you can't buy more of it.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #chanukah #hannukah #howeveritisspelled #jewish #holiday #all #holidays #christmas #kwanzaa #weareone #photography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Monday, December 23, 2019

Look beneath the surface of the city

More than meets the eye
London, ON
December 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Standing on the outside, looking in, it's easy to spin a story for yourself, to convince yourself that you have precise knowledge of everything that goes on here, every subtle nuance, every moment.

Outsiders always seem to know, don't they? And when they venture into the murk for a bit, they claim to know even more. "I've been there." "I saw it with my own two eyes." "Trust me."

For the record, I don't much trust the view of the outsider. Because none of us ever really knows what goes in inside the life - or the mind - of another. We may see a drug addict shooting his arm full of unmentionable substances, then leave the discarded needle in a dirty corner beside the sewer grate. But we probably don't know this individual's back story, what led him or her to this place, at this time, in this manner.

We might feel like we have the right to pass judgment because no right-thinking human being would ever shoot up in a shadowy downtown alley. We don't. No one chooses to live a life in a place like this. Everyone has a back-story. Rarely is it shared.

People on the outside looking in think they're smart enough to know all this. They aren't. And they're often the last to learn this sad dichotomy.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #downtown #urban #city #richmond #street #photography #streetphotography #color #light #shadow #alley #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Little dog in a a big, special bed

Sleepy puppy
London, ON
December 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
We held onto Frasier's big bed after we lost him, another one of those quirks of pet ownership that only other dog or cat or whatever-animal people understand.

For the longest time, we kept it tucked away, afraid this very different-from-her-big-dog-brother Schnauzer you see here would reduce it to a fluffy mess with her Jaws-liie teeth.

See, she's a chewer, and despite the fact that we love her to the Moon and back, and then some, we don't much trust her. She's destroyed shoes, socks, pillows, blankets, toys, anything in her path. We've learned that silence in the house usually means she's either up to or into something.

We understand it's how Schnauzers are built, but she takes destructiveness to another level.

So it took a while for us to get her used to this ginormous (for her) bed - without the chewing thing.

As you can see here, we worried needlessly. She seemed to instinctively realize this was a special thing, no munching allowed. And she spends most of her quiet time curled up in a cozy ball.

I wonder what she dreams about. I'd like to think her mind is filled with happy thoughts, like going for walks with her humans, chasing rabbits and squirrels, getting cuddles, and eating as many treats as she possibly can.

It's what all us want, really: A safe place away from the tumultuous world around us, surrounded by those we love most.

Simple. But not.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #calli #callitheachnauzer #dog #dogs #schnauzerpuppy #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzergram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #instapuppy #actofdog #pets #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Friday, December 20, 2019

Where writers go to find inspiration

Inspiring glass, just steps away
London, ON
December 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
The scene: The office, where I spend my workdays writing things for tech folks and absorbing brilliance from my colleagues. Spend enough time staring at a screen* and eventually you need to look at distant objects.

So I've started taking the occasional walk through the historic building, allowing my eyes to graze the details and find something that inspires me for the next round of literary magic back at my desk. It's good for my baby blues, of course, but also my mind and, according to the step counter in my smartwatch, my health.

It's a gorgeous building, with moments of visual wonder lurking around pretty much every corner. Exposed brickwork. Wooden rafters. Historically preserved windows. Even the doors tell rich stories of a now-vanished chapter in this city's history. Words often fail me when I'm asked to describe where I work. You'll just have to come for a tour.

So all of this explains how within the space of a 5-minute stroll upstairs, my eyes found the glasses stored artfully in the kitchen upstairs. I seem to work best when I allow a scene to sink in quickly. When I don't give any more thought to the moment than it really needs. When I open my mind a little and just take it in. When I get to take that inspiration back with me, and kill it at the keyboard for the rest of the day.

I guess we all have our own productivity strategies. Feel free to borrow mine, if you wish.

* I lied. It's 3 screens. I have a slight problem with technology overkill.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #InfoTechRG #InfoTech #itrg #345Ridout #workhardplayhard #bestjobever #stilllife #life #glass #monochrome #photography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Thursday, December 19, 2019

3 years...

Master of his domain
London, ON
August 2014
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Three years ago today we said goodbye to our dog, Frasier.

I wrote about it that awful milestone here, and not a day goes by that I don't think about this sweet soul who shared our lives for almost a decade and gave us so many unforgettable family moments. We miss him tremendously, but we're thankful to have had him at all.

He taught us that life can be pretty amazing, even if it starts out in the wrong place, with the wrong people. He taught us, in visceral terms, what unconditional love looks and feels like. He made us better people.

I'd rescue him again in a heartbeat if the universe allowed me to go back in time. But since that isn't allowed - at least not using today's technology - we'll hold onto his memory instead. He may have been annoyingly loud, ill-trained, expensive, and completely illogical to have as a family member. But who ever said families had to be logical in the first place?

Dogs aren't remotely logical. And yet I can't imagine life without them, even if it never lasts as long as we hope it would. A little canine magic, after all, is better than none.

Thanks, little buddy. Know your imprint on us is forever. Know you're missed. Know you're loved.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #dog #dogs #doglife #puppy #schnauzerpuppy #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzergram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #instadog #instapuppy #actofdog #pets #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

This is my locker story

Behind every lock...
London, ON
October 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
I think we must all have a locker story buried deep in our respective memories. Probably many stories.

One stands out for me. It took place in a community centre. I was just a munchkin when it was built, and I practically grew up there.

The change room was deep underground, below the spanking new pool and gym, at the end of a couple of frighteningly long, steep, and slippery concrete staircases. The orange lockers were scratched and dented before the new-building smell had worn off.

It freaked me out to be alone down there among the adults, and I always picked a locker well away from anyone else's, then rushed myself to get out of there as quickly as possible. I guess I grew up in a different era.

Later I became a lifeguard, and graduated to the private change rooms upstairs. Public locker rooms weird me out to this day, and I studiously avoid them when I'm out and about. But this particular one, so central to my childhood, remains something of an anchor. Funny how that works, isn't it?

I recently came across the lockers you see here in the Costco near our home in London, and it triggered these powerful childhood memories. I stood in the crowded hallway and stared at them for a bit, wondering what was inside them. And who owned, albeit temporarily, each little cube of secured public space. I'm guessing employees.

Behind every locked door is a story, an experience, a future memory for whoever owns the lock. I hope whoever twirls the combinations on these appreciates how the seemingly simple act of stashing stuff away for a bit can plant powerful seeds for decades to come. I hope their memories are as charmed as mine.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #519ldn #519london #costco #random #urban #suburban #retail #store #shop #shopping #monochrome #photography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Eat your vegetables, will ya?

Hold onto your health
London, ON
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Let's get this out of the way: Peppers aren't my jam.

And in the interest of total transparency, I have issues with vegetables in general. I'll eat them because I sort of have to if I want to stay on the right side of the health curve. But the prospect of biting into a head of unadorned lettuce, or chomping down on a juicy tomato weirds me out.

Make it a lovely salad with dressing and I'm in. But as a straight-up snack, not so much. Call it a very first-world problem.

But shooting pictures of them is another story altogether, and I've been pointing lenses at both fruits and veggies for years. I even came up with a name for it: #Fruitography. It's led to a number of fun moments in grocery stores - including some tense conversations with the security folks - but thankfully no arrests or lifetime bans. Yet.

So here's an orange pepper in the midst of a bunch of other orange peppers in the local Farm Boy store. Between the color, the texture, and the light, it was a none-too-subtle reminder that I need to get over my overgrown-child food hangups and eat more of these things.

Or maybe I should just stop fretting over what I eat and enjoy the glory of something grown from the earth. Simple and complex at the same time. Apologies, grocery security types: I'll be back.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #stilllife #orange #pepper ##vegetable #spontaneous #macro #grocery #store #photo #shoot #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Monday, December 16, 2019

Colorful cookies in a Mexican bakery

Bet you can't eat just one
Cancun, Mexico
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Whatever you do this week, make it sweet.

And colorful.

And plentiful.

And happy.

And creative.

And memorable.

Because we only get a certain amount of weeks. Or days. Or moments.

We should make them count.

For ourselves. And for everyone around us, too.

#cancun #mexico #food #foodporn #foodie #instafood #foodphotography #foodstagram #cookies #dessert #color #stilllife #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #photography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Rooted to the ground

A river runs through it
London, ON
October 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
There’s nothing a good walk in the woods can’t solve.

Thankfully we live near a particularly lovely example - the Medway Valley Heritage Forest - so we regularly find ourselves wandering under the canopy until the sound of the burbling creek drowns out the distant thrum of the city that surrounds this magical place.

The city has wisely chosen to leave it alone. No asphalt or gravel-covered paths, nothing built or engineered. Just the occasional sign to point out the time-worn path that meanders through the valley.

Nobody walks quickly through this place. Too many obstacles, elevation changes, slippery surfaces, random stuff. Everybody looks down. Deliberately picking through the old growth. Deliberately picking a path that minimizes risk. Because no one will hear you fall in here.

Which, I guess, is the entire point of coming to a place like this. Not to get anywhere quickly. Or at all. There’s no destination. No ETA. No GPS. Just you, a towering forest cover overhead, and an impossibly diverse forest floor below. How you fill the rest in is entirely, gloriously, up to you.

I almost tripped as I stepped over this root, and it was enough to stop me just long enough to notice it. I bent down and slowly ran my fingers over its textured surface, each knot and burl another chapter in a story the massive tree it anchors started writing long before any of us existed.

I’d been walking this path regularly for years, but never took note of this particular tree, or this particular root. Because every journey, no matter how familiar the landscape, will always offer up the promise of something new.

But only if we move slowly enough to notice it - and allow ourselves the luxury to stop and take it in.

Perhaps I should stop calling this a luxury in the first place.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #canadian #medway #valley #forest #trees #roots #texture #nature #naturephotography #landscape #photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #google #pixel2 #teampixel #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Spreading happiness, one cookie at a time

Bite me
London, ON
December 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Everyone could use another reason to smile.

So ask yourself what you’re doing to make that happen. What simple things are you going to do today to bring a little happiness to the people who cross your path?

I’ll start: Instead of my usual gaze-to-the-floor, stone-faced look while I’m walking among strangers, I’ll look up and look happy. Maybe even make eye contact with an occasional like-minded soul.

Because tiny kindnesses and connections can sometimes have the most profound impact. And we'll never know if we don't at least try.

So that’s my thing. What’s yours?

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #smile #cookie #stilllife #food #instafood #foodstagram #foodporn #photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #google #pixel2 #teampixel #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Friday, December 13, 2019

One blue plane

Almost airborne
Cancun, Mexico
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Planespotting. Anywhere. Anytime. Just because.

#cancun #mexico #airport #aircraft #airplane #aviation #plane #planeapotting #avgeek @jetblue #bluesapphire #airbus #a320 #notanactualbus #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #photography #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Watching the sunrise from the pier

Where sun meets water, clouds, and sky
Cancun, Mexico
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Rarely do I wake up in the morning and instantly jump into the day. I like to linger under the covers for a bit as I slowly transition from sleep to full-speed life. It's like a car merging on the highway: Smooth, consistent, drama-free. Any other way is just too jarring.

If it were up to me, I'd linger in that delightful half-dreamlike state for hours. But even when you're away and ostensibly on vacation, experiences await. You don't want to sleep it all away.

That's how I found myself standing at the end of a white-painted concrete pier jutting out into the Caribbean Sea, waiting for the sun to peek over the horizon.

My logic was simple: Most days it isn't an option for me to stand beside a large body of water and take in the sunrise. So today I thought I'd take advantage of where I was and sacrifice a little sleep for a minor photographic adventure.

The sun held up its end of the bargain, and after I was finished shooting its slow creep above the edge of the planet, I sat quietly under the thatched roof and drank in the silence.

Except it wasn't silent at all. Waves lapped the shore. Birds argued with each other on decaying pilings. The wind gradually picked up. Other sun-seekers strolled onto the beach and took pictures with their smartphones. I drank in the sounds of a seashore coming alive.

Soon enough I was trundling back to our hotel room, sand stuck between my toes and thoughts racing through my head. I decided losing a little sleep in exchange for moments like this was absolutely worth it.

#cancun #mexico #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #explore #beach #sunrise #sun #sea #sky #clouds #nature #morning #landscape #photography #naturephotography #landscapephotography #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Dundas Street comes to life (hopefully)

Reflecting on downtown's future
London, ON
December 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
#LdnONT isn't unique: As in so many other cities, the downtown core here has been on its heels for so long that the only happy memories are found in gauzy monochrome pictures from decades ago.

Dundas Street runs east-west through the heart of downtown, and has long epitomized the slow, ugly decline of the area. Dundas Place is nothing less than the city's Hail Mary pass to save the very soul of of this neighborhood. It's a major reconstruction program designed to fully replace crumbling, century-old infrastructure below ground, and rebuild a flexible streetscape on top of it.

So-called flex streets have been built elsewhere, and the theory is they allow the road to serve as a conventional thoroughfare most of the time, and a pedestrian-only area for active civic programming at other times.

After two hard years of construction, the city finally declared the street open this week. A few hours after our mayor installed the ceremonial final brick, I found myself on Dundas as I headed home.

I wasn't alone, but the throngs of shoppers who would conceivably save the businesses on this street were nowhere to be seen. A few pedestrians rushed, like me, to be somewhere else. If you looked hard enough into alleys and papered-over storefronts, London's burgeoning homeless population snapped into focus.

This street, already pockmarked with empty stores before construction began, suffered even more as a number of stalwarts simply couldn't survive. The fancy brickwork and stainless steel fixtures didn't come soon enough for them.

Civic renewal is never easy. No one solution appeals to all. And not everyone will survive the transition. But for now, at least, there's a flicker of hope in a place that, for as long as I can remember, hasn't had much reason to cheer.

I can't wait to see who comes back to this storied place, and what they plan to offer up when they do.

#london #ontario #canada #downtown #retail #shopping #urban #dundas #place #street #night #photography #city #walkabout #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Monday, December 09, 2019

Murals belong everywhere

Hungry for pizza and inspiration
London, ON
December 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Unassuming pizza shops on unassuming downtown streets shouldn’t normally stop us in our tracks, especially when it’s cold, gray, and raining, and a mountain of writing awaits at the office.

But this one is different.

Someone painted a mural on its time-worn stucco-covered corner, a tiny act of defiance against the numbing sameness that seems to define this time-challenged neighborhood. So I pause my walk to the office and look around the rain-speckled block.

I see empty trees, a rust-flecked apartment building, a soaked sleeping bag abandoned in the gutter, and a blocked sewer grate at the centre of a growing not-so-mini lake of muddy water, an indescribable mess of floating garbage edging out haphazardly into the street.

There is no beauty here. At least there isn’t supposed to be any. And yet, there’s this wall. Two walls, really, as the mural that greets customers on the street also extends back into the otherwise forgettable parking lot.

None of this changes the sad reality of a sad stretch of town. But it doesn’t have to. And that’s not the point, anyway.

What really matters is that we look for these slivers of light at all, that there are those among us who would share the light with others, that we haven’t given up all hope of something better, even in a place that seems to offer none of it.

There’s always hope, especially when - and where - we least expect it. And I bet the pizza’s pretty good, too.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #building #mural #art #color #downtown #urban #street #photography #city #waterloo #walkabout #weather #wx #pizza #restaurant #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Someone painted the sky again

Blue and white
London, ON
October 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Wonder is happening over our very heads, at any given moment of the day.

Just look up.

I promise you it'll be worth your time.

Happy new work week, y'all. Make it count.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #clouds #cloudspotting #blue #sky #weather #wx #nature #google #pixel2 #teampixel #instagood #photooftheday #nofilter #nofilterneeded #photography #life #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Stare into the reflective waters

Ephemeral
Cancun, Mexico
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Stare at the waves long enough and eventually a few things become clear:
  1. Chaos is all around us.
  2. There's nothing we can do to materially change it.
  3. Chaos isn't, by definition, positive or negative.
  4. It is how you choose to see it.
  5. In other words, by perception, not by definition.
  6. Everything changes in a blink.
  7. That thing that matters so much to you in this moment is barely a memory in the next.
  8. We miss a whole lot of moments if we don't pay attention.
  9. These moments may seem trivial. They aren't.
  10. We never seem to get enough of them.
  11. So we'd best make the ones we get matter a little more.
  12. It's good for the soul to simply sit and take it all in.
  13. If you really pay attention, you don't just see things.
  14. You hear them, too.
  15. And even feel them.
I'm guessing this means I have more waterside moments ahead of me. Neat.

#cancun #mexico #road #trip #vacation #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #explore #pool #water #swim #reflect #photography #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Dawn breaks by the sea

Got another day
Cancun, Mexico
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Wherever you happen to find yourself when you wake up and greet the new day, take a moment to look out the window. There's a whole world out there just waiting for you to dig in.

#cancun #mexico #road #trip #vacation #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #explore #beach #sunrise #silhouette #morning #photography #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Friday, December 06, 2019

What bugs you?

Look, but don't touch
Cancun, Mexico
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Mexican bugs sure are different than Canadian ones.

Here's Exhibit A, which thanks to some very basic Googling I now know to be an Oleander Caterpillar. For the record, I did not smuggle this one - or any other tropical insect, for that matter - home in my suitcase. For the record, I did ask if I could. For the record, my wise wife said no. Emphatically.

Is my new fuzzy orange friend a bit on the creepy side? Of course. A little frightening? Likely. But fascinating all the same, and given the fact that we had flown thousands of kilometres to be here, absolutely worth a few megapixels.

A little voice in me says there's a bigger lesson here, and it probably has something to do with learning about things that are different from our usual norms. Or might frighten us a little. Or seem strange.

A little voice in me says we can't hold back simply because something might be a bit - or a lot - outside our comfort zone. And we can't judge or dismiss simply because we've never encountered them before.

A little voice in me says maybe we aren't just talking about insects.

#cancun #mexico #bug #insect #caterpillar #animal #road #trip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #explore #stilllife #photography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

London welcomes you home

Community in an airport corridor
London, ON
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
This is what awaits arriving passengers in #ldnont's London International Airport when they first get into the terminal.

The kind-hearted folks who run this place thought it would be a good idea to line the walls of the main corridor with life-sized photos of employees and community members holding various welcome signs. It makes me smile every time I come home, not only because it's a lovely piece of design, but because it speaks volumes about the community we call home, and the way it chooses to present itself to others.

You can tell a lot about people by the small things they do when they're around others. Tiny slivers of politeness and warmth always seem to have an outsized influence, and this seemingly small decision by the airport tells a remarkable story about the people who live here.

We've come to love our adopted city as our own, to the point that we can't imagine living anywhere else. Small touches like this reaffirm why - and how - this place has wormed its way into our souls. Even when I stagger jet-lagged into the terminal, and all I want to do is get home and collapse into a heap, the 20-second walk through this corridor serves as a reminder that we're surrounded by good people who creatively look out for others.

As I collect my luggage from the carousel, I promise myself I'll find some way to return the favor. But first, there's sleep.

#london #yul #ontario #canada #international #airport #flight #airplane #aviation #photography #city #travel #travelphotography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Color your morning

Breakfast of Champions, to Start
Cancun, Mexico
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
The world outside my window has returned to its annual wintry shade of grey.

Now, grey is a color like any other. It deserves to be appreciated for its own merits rather than dismissed for what it is not. That, and monochrome photography is a pretty neat way to record the world around us.

But some days I wake up amid the grey murk of another snowy day in the Great White North and decide the perfect way to jumpstart my soul would be with a shot of color. And hopefully that color - or series of colors - will be slightly more effusive than something pulled from the dirty wall of an expressway.

And so we come to this simple row of fruit on an equally simple white plate. Sure, it makes for a healthy breakfast, but it also makes me smile. The colors are lovely, of course, but the fact that these were grown from the earth, and can keep us healthy and productive if we eat enough of them, is nothing short of miraculous.

Yes, I'm marvelling at a pile of fruit. Please don't judge.

My weirdness notwithstanding, I hope this scene makes you smile, as well, and I hope you find a way to start your own day with a shot of well-deserved color.

#cancun #mexico #morning #breakfast #food #foodporn #foodie #instafood #foodphotography #goodmorning #foodstagram #fruit #color #stilllife #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #photography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

My father's pelican

Watching from afar
Cancun, Mexico
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
I have an unhealthy level of affection for pelicans.

Maybe it's the crazy-huge beak, or the way they fly seemingly without effort, in absolute command of the sky. Or the fact that they always look like they're smiling.

Or the fact that my late father would often talk about them as they flew over him and his friends, in perfect formation, wings barely moving, up and down their Florida beach, seemingly all day. If I was nearby, he'd point them out in the hope that I'd be able to capture them with my camera. If I wasn't, he'd tell me about it later on, a belated retelling of a majestic moment, now lost to time.

It's almost as if the birds knew they were putting on a show for the puny humans far below. And were only too happy to oblige.

So, over a decade after we lost him, the sight of a pelican brings me back to that sunny beach, to a place that made my father feel happy and fulfilled. Strange how that works, isn't it? The least I can do is try to record the scene, and hope it's enough to sustain a memory that brings me a smile, as well.

Years after pelicans became a thing for my family, I doubt this particular bird appreciates our family history, or the connected-to-my-father sentiment that resulted in me staring at him from afar.

But I was thankful to be able to take in the magnificent sight all the same.

#cancun #mexico #pelican #bird #birds #animal #road #trip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #explore #beach #zoom #photography #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Mexican fly up close

Bug off
Cancun. Mexico
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Oh, to be a fly on the wall...

#cancun #mexico #road #trip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #explore #stilllife #insect #fly #photography #shadow #texture #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Monday, December 02, 2019

Old pair of shoes in a parking lot

Abandoned in place
London, ON
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Big box store #haiku:
Old shoes say goodbye
Ignored in a parking lot
Someone's feet are cold
#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #poetry #519ldn #519london #random #urban #suburban #street #shoes #feet #garbage #abandoned #retail #photography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Committing an Act of Dog

Start the week right
London, ON
December 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
The calendar says it's Monday, which I realize may make some folks feel a little blue. That, and the weather's been challenging in this hemisphere. So I thought we'd start the workweek with an #ActOfDog.

What is an #ActOfDog? Simply anything that includes, refers to, or even suggests doghood. Yours or anyone else's. If it's got a dog in it, we want to read it. Or know about it. Or see it. Or all of the above.

This, as many of you may know, is Calli the Wonderschnauzer. It had been a busy couple of weeks, with back-to-back trips that kept me away from home.

And as bonkers as this particular dog is, I missed her. I missed our routines. I missed talking to her while we walk. I missed the sound of her sticking her snout in places she has no business sticking it. I missed her random barking when she thinks she sees something out the window. But it was just an errant leaf.

So I thought we'd start this blue Monday (thanks, New Order) with a spontaneous dog pic.

Because everyone needs a reason to smile. Today, and indeed every day.

If you're so inclined, please share yours with the #ActOfDog hashtag. Let's start a movement, shall we?

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #winter #snow #weather #wx #schnauzerpuppy #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzergram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #instapuppy #pets #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Frozen solid to the ground

Henrietta picks up some ice
London, ON
December 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
We no longer need to wait for the weather report on the 6 o'clock news. Nor do we even have to look outside. Rather, a quick scroll through our social media feeds is typically all we need to know what Mother Nature is up to.

Digital weather: It's a thing.

And so it has come to pass this morning, with Facebookistan crammed to the gills with seemingly endless images - and complaints - of the ice storm that's blown into our region. Which is just as well, because our windows are coated with a thick layer of ice.

Our pup was decidedly unhappy, forced to slip and slide across the sidewalk-turned-skating-rink as the howling winds drove painful flecks of ice into her pretty pink raincoat.

I talked to her gently in the hope that the sound of my voice would calm her down. It didn't go so well, and soon enough we were headed back inside where my lovely wife was waiting with a warm towel and lots of treats.

On the way in, I noticed icicles hanging from the lower rocker panel of my car, Henrietta. Given the weather, we're not driving anywhere today, but the sight of a frozen-in-place Honda got my photographic brain spinning.

I now knew how I wanted to remember this frightening and miserable Sunday morning. So after the furry girl was safely in my wife's arms, I returned outside and took the shot.

Like all extreme bouts of weather, today's will pass soon enough. The ice will melt, and the hunkered down city will once again hum with activity. Our social feeds will leave the weather behind and return once again to the usual meme-sharing, political-battling, passive-aggressive-one-upmanship that typically defines modern digital discourse.

And in one house tucked into a quiet corner of a southern Ontario town, we'll be left with a red-tinged memory of a moment that won't return again anytime soon, if at all.

There may be other storms. But none of them will feel exactly like this.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #winter #snow #ice #icicle #works #storm #onstorm #weather #wx #red #honda #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Cherubs watching over breakfast

Cast in stone
Cancun, Mexico
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Details matter.

Like the little flourishes that fill otherwise empty spaces with wonder.

Like the thoughtful touches that weren't necessarily needed, or rational, but time has proven vital all the same.

Like the subtle cues that can't help but make us smile as long as we work a little harder to notice their presence in the first place.

Like tiny snippets of artwork that define a space and fuse it into your memory.

Because otherwise this would have just been a wall. But because some unknown designer decided to splurge a little, it's now an indelible part of an experience in an extraordinary place that we won't soon forget.

Taking the picture in the middle of the breakfast rush, however, will remain a story for another day. Even watchful cherubs must occasionally keep their secrets.

#cancun #mexico #itrg #infotechresearchgroup #presidentsclub #pclub2019 #cherub #art #sculpture #texture #road #trip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #explore #zoom #photography #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Playing peekaboo with the birds

Strike a pose
Cancun, Mexico
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Wherever I end up, at some point I'll end up staring at whatever birds happen to be in the area.

Like so many things in my world, there's no rhyme or reason for it. On the bright side, it's a pretty harmless vice. On the down side, it annoys my family to no end.

Assuming I have a camera in my hand (do you really have to ask?) it's equally inevitable that photos will be taken. Gulls in Grand Bend. Pelicans in Florida. Cardinals in the ravine close to home.

Doesn't really matter what they are or where they happen to be: If they're flying, I'm following them wildly with glass.

So this is how I came to have this particular photo of this particular gull in this particular place so far from home.

The gulls here look a bit different than our Ontario birds, but they"re ust as fascinating to watch, right down to their mastery of the skies and rather antisocial behavior toward one another. They really are angry birds, which makes them hilariously entertaining to watch.

From the looks of this shot, I think this little one was onto me.

Like so many other photos I shot this week, or any week, for that matter, it doesn't reflect a terribly earth-shattering scene. But every photo, like every other aspect of a single person's life, has some sort of back story.

And we'd do ourselves quite the service if we slowed ourselves down long enough to learn what other people's stories are.

Or maybe even share a few of our own.

#cancun #mexico #itrg #infotechresearchgroup #presidentsclub #pclub2019 #bird #birds #animal #road #trip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #explore #beach #zoom #photography #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Friday, November 29, 2019

Staring right into the surf

Ride the wave
Cancun, Mexico
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Every day holds the potential to take our breath away. But are we taking the time to notice?

#cancun #mexico #itrg #infotechresearchgroup #presidentsclub #pclub2019 #road #trip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #explore #beach #sunrise #morning #photography #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Paradise lost in a blink

Poolside before sunset
Cancun, Mexico
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Good days never last as long as we wish they would.

They seem to move faster than other days, and are behind us before we realize just how special they are.

We then wonder if we've done enough to drink them in. Or when we might get more days just like them.

We'd probably want to share them more broadly if we had the ability. Or maybe even store them in figurative boxes so we could pull them out whenever we needed them again.

Reality, though, dictates otherwise, so we're stuck with what we've got. Which, in a literal sense, could be perceived negatively.

But what if we flipped it over? What if we looked at rarity, brevity, fleetingness, perishability as the things that make days like this feel special in the first place?

What if we, instead of spending our energy wishing for what we can't have, instead redirected it toward more actively treasuring that which we already do?

And so it was that my wife and I found ourselves walking back to our room after a gauzy, perfect day, and I saw this perfect scene in the fast-fading light. She nodded that I should grab the moment.

And while that moment was over in a blink, and the only tangible leftovers I now have are in pixellated form, I do have the comfort knowing that we had this moment at all, and we've added it to the ever unfolding story of us.

Not every day is perfect, after all. But being able to have a story to tell, a life within which to tell it, and be surrounded by people who share and embrace that story, is easily the most perfect blessing imaginable.

#cancun #mexico #itrg #infotechresearchgroup #presidentsclub #pclub2019 #road #trip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #explore #pool #reflective #shadow #palm #trees #photography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Twisting by the pool

The pause that refreshes
Cancun, Mexico
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
It's easy to sit by the pool with good friends and colleagues, talking about everything and nothing, feeling like you're one of the luckier people alive.

And you'd be absolutely correct.

The challenge is how to replicate that feeling when the crystal-blue swimming pool is a distant memory, the snow is piling up on the windowsill, a day at the office awaits, and you have no choice but to get back on the merry go round and do the things we must all do to keep the lights on.

I don't quite know how I'll pull that one off once we get back to the real world back home. But I do know that scenes like this one, captured during the fleeting in-between moments in a place that often feels more surreal than real, will help me figure it all out.

Because this is how I hold onto inspiration. What about you?

#cancun #mexico #itrg #infotechresearchgroup #presidentsclub #pclub2019 #road #trip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #explore #pool #sun #shadow #texture #waves #stilllife #photography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Watching the waves roll in

Turbulent waters
Cancun, Mexico
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
"The forces of the universe may be relentless, but so am I."
C. Levy
2019
#cancun #mexico #itrg #infotechresearchgroup #presidentsclub #pclub2019 #road #trip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #explore #beach #sunset #waves #photography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Don't look directly into the sun

Connected to the horizon
Cancun, Mexico
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Shooting the sunrise can often be an exercise in futility.

Once the giant gasbag clears the horizon, the optical equation more or less falls apart. It is so bright - and so much brighter than everything around it - that even with the right filters, it's a tall order to get the kind of exposure that isn't a diverse mess of blown out brightness and muddy shadows.

But shift your perspective a little and you open up a few new doors for yourself. Like this one, where I decided the sun itself didn't need to be a part of the scene at all.

Instead, I zeroed in on the reflection marching all the way from the horizon line to my feet. Not even remotely conventional, but I'm not about to start being conventional now.

As I stood on the pier and stared into the distance, that single line of light made me feel somewhat connected to the massive celestial game playing out so far away from where I was. Which got me thinking.

The day doesn't always serve up concoctions that offer up the perfect light. Or taste. Or kindness. Or whatever other ideal it is that you're hoping to receive.

So we adjust. Shift perspective. Change our expectations. Even try something new.

And somewhere along the way, we learn that life isn't necessarily about getting what we want, but making the best out of what we've been given.

Sounds like the perfect way to start the day, even if it isn't what I originally had in mind when I first set out in the darkness.

#cancun #mexico #itrg #infotechresearchgroup #presidentsclub #pclub2019 #road #trip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #explore #beach #sunrise #morning #photography #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Meeting our next pet iguana

Isadore basks in the sun
Cancun, Mexico
November 2019
This photo shared originally on Instagram
You never know when life will throw tiny bits of randomness into your path. So you probably want to be at least somewhat ready when it happens.

To wit, I'd like to introduce you to my little friend, Isadore the Iguana. He showed up on the path near our room rather by happenstance, as iguanas are often known to do.

This shouldn't be a surprise: This entire area was hacked out of the tropical jungle, so it's still packed with exotic and sometimes kinda frightening wildlife. Iguana sightings are frequent here, and it's no surprise to see bunches of them hanging out on the pathways here.

Isadore is no gator, though, so I wasn't worried he'd have me for breakfast. But I still wasn't too keen to have him take a bite out of me. So I used a long-ish lens to reel him in.

In the overall scheme of things, this is a common photo of a common lizard, nothing we haven't seen before, here and elsewhere. But when the universe sends one your way, you ignore the opportunity at your peril.

Because wonder is all around us. And we owe it to ourselves and those closest to us to embrace it when we cross its path.

I think I owe Isadore a sincere thank you.

#cancun #mexico #itrg #infotechresearchgroup #presidentsclub #pclub2019 #iguana #reptile #animal #road #trip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #explore #beach #sunrise #morning #photography #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Monday, November 25, 2019

Relentlessness in the pre-dawn light

Always there
Cancun, Mexico
November 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
There aren't a whole lot of people on the beach at 6:38 a.m. But this single man is.

His job is a thankless one: Sweep up and carry away the seaweed that relentlessly floats ashore and coats the otherwise pristine, sugar-white sand - that was obviously trucked in - with a layer of material that reminds us all who's in charge.

His job is also never-ending. Before he's completed his trip from one end of the deserted beach to the other, leaving impossibly neat mounds of the stuff at perfectly spaced intervals behind him, more seaweed is already staining the beach where he first started. He'll never win this battle. Or even catch up.

But he's got a job, and despite the obvious futility of trying to hold back a not-so-random force of nature, he's going to doggedly pursue his goal no matter what.

I watch him for a few minutes before the combination of biting bugs and sand in my camera send me scurrying back from the frontier. He's clearly a lot tougher than I'll ever be, and I silently wish him well as I turn around and walk back to terra firma.

Despite the fact that we've never exchanged a word, it's obvious this beach is in eminently capable hands.

I hope all his mornings are similarly quiet and undisturbed. He - and others who work silently and constantly - deserve no less.

#cancun #mexico #itrg #infotechresearchgroup #presidentsclub #pclub2019 #road #trip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #explore #beach #sunrise #morning #photography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything