Friday, February 01, 2019

Mind the edge, please

Little, yellow, different
Toronto, ON
January 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
I'm pretty sure you're not allowed to shoot this close to the edge of the platform. While I made darn sure there were no people or trains nearby, I still cracked a smile as I crouched down and composed. I imagined what it must look like to others, the relatively put-together guy in the tie and pea coat taking artsy pictures in the middle of a busy, drafty, dirty public space.

They probably thought I was insane. They likely weren't far off.

I don't fully understand why I do this, time and again. Countless people pass through here uneventfully every day. They join the herd, heads down, walking quietly, attracting no attention in the process. Yet In the middle of my own long commute home, after a productive, non-stop day in the big city to the east that got underway well before dawn, following the herd is the last thing on my mind.

I suspect losing my brother, riding the inevitable aftershocks that followed, and navigating my father-in-law's illness have all changed me in ways I may never fully understand. I suspect having a stroke a few years back also irrevocably changed me, prompting me to view the world around me through a different lens. I'm less inclined to ask permission, wait for an answer, or care too much about what others think of me. I'm not about to rob a bank, but I'm also not going to stand meekly by out of fear someone might object if I step forward. Or out. I'll follow my own path, and if that means a few raised eyebrows, I'm good with that. If that makes me a bit of a badass, too, I'll take it.

Maybe there's a broader lesson in this seemingly simple photo. Maybe we should all be looking for opportunities to step out from the herd, if only for a moment, and do something that makes us crack a smile. Maybe the next time I come through this otherwise-soulless place seemingly built to reinforce anonymity, I won't be crouched down alone. Maybe we can commit to looking a little harder for slivers of light in unexpected places.

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1 comment:

rashbre said...

I'm confused by the step to climb over to board the train? One up on "Mind the Gap"!