Friday, June 22, 2007

The journey begins

Dash 8, awaiting flight
London, ON, May 2007 [Click to enlarge]

I have this compulsive need to mark the milestones of every long distance trip. Before I drive anywhere, I quietly stand beside the car and, with my hand on the tail light, hope for a safe journey. As I board a plane, I place my hand on the outer skin and feel the rivets. Often, when I'm in the gate area, I'll take a picture of the plane I'm about to board. I'll repeat the process on the way home.

There isn't anything unique about these rituals. But they're important to me for some reason that I can't easily explain.

This trip was decidedly longer than my usual jaunt. I was about to fly halfway around the world. I was still in my "home" airport, about to board a puddlejumper that I had taken so many times before. Familiar territory and familiar equipment. For that moment, anyway.

And as my little plane sat in the early morning light, I thought it would make an ideal first picture, something to remember as I kicked off a trip I wouldn't soon forget; a piece of home that I'd carry with me as I ventured into the unknown.

In the end, the actual object being photographed may be somewhat ordinary and forgettable. But circumstances often render the moment significantly more worthy of a unique memory.

And so I squeezed off this reflective, deliberately-low-key-to-minimize-the-glare vision.

Your turn: Do you remember starts and finishes? Why?

One more thing: There's still more method to my photo-madness. I'm posting this today because I'm hoping to spend the day with at least one of the kids at the Wings 'n Wheels air show in nearby St. Thomas, Ontario. Ideally, It's one of those experiences that I know they'll cherish simply because it was cool, it was different, and we got to go through it together. I'll try to moblog from the site, too. More soon...


Anonymous said...

Even as I put my faith in God on every journey I take your ritual one step further. I not only place my hand on the car, plane, boat or what have you. I talk to it, as if in some funny way it was a beast that I could bond with. Maybe this is some throw back in men to days when we rode living creatures who became as much a part of us as our extremities. Or maybe I am crazy.



Anna said...

I love the lighting here and the sun reflecting. And of course, I like the plane! Very nice! As far as the question...isnt the journey more intriguing when we know the start and finish? I think so.

Have a good weekend Carmi!

Lee Ann said...

Ahhh...amazing! You used the word puddlejumper. A word that I never hear anyone say. That was the name of one of my previous cars. It was a little Mazda 323.

Have a great weekend Carmi!

Pat said...

Carmi, I go through similar and as Paul says, I pray before my journey and put my faith in God for safety.

One start and finish I will never forget was one trip to the UK when we were taking 16 folks to hike in Yorkshire and North Wales. As we were flying above the Isle of Man, over the intercom from the cabin came the Captain's voice... "If anyone is sitting on the left hand side of the plane, there's a wonderful clear view of the Isle of Man and will Pat Scott of the Happy Wanderers please come to the cockpit!"

Well, talk about being summoned to the principal's office! That's what it felt like. Anyway, he said when I got there (long journey from the rear of the plane), "We'd like you to sit in here for the landing in Manchester!". I said, "Can I get my camera?" He said, "Hurry!"

So off I went almost running back to my seat and grabbed my little camera and then when I got back to the cockpit, I was duly strapped into the seat behind him and headphones put on my head. He said, "You'll hear everything between the tower in Manchester and this plane but don't you say anything!"

What an experience, Carmi! One that will probably never happen again. I won't ever forget it.

Pat said...

Oops! And I forgot to say that I love your photo!


Chad Oneil Myers said...

I just got done looking through your "flickr" gallary. I really appreciate your style because I relate to it with mine.

You really get to spend some time at "Fancy" hotels, man! The wide, flat screen in the bathroom says one thing, "big time".

Your comments about touching the plane you're about to board reminded me of what I sometimes do when I'm boarding a plane. I'll touch the outside with my hand and say a quick prayer to God for protection during this flight. I ask him to spread his protection around it.

CG said...

I love the start of a journey as its a step into the unknown! An adventure...
Very evocative photo...

Jean-Luc Picard said...

That's an interesting thing to do in remembering journeys. I'm about to go on a big cruise, so thinking of everything to take seems so much time!

Michele sent me.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carmi
Michele sent me this morning.

I like the idea of infusing the everyday with ritual. Certainly family getaway are memories I can pull up more easily than the timeless everyday.

Lisa said...

we always say a little prayer as a family that we will have safe travels and return home in one piece. One particular trip, we left home in such a frazzled hurry, that we forgot the prayer. I remembered about 30 minutes down the road, so we pulled into the nearest rest stop and said it.

Anonymous said...

This post reminds me of the beginning and end of a most wonderful journey up and down the Inside Passage with my daughter when she was 13. We kayaked and flew up in small 4 seaters (Skagway Air- "We can can can!") and then slept out on the back deck of the Marine Highway ship and watched the mountains and glaciers on the way back. Thanks for triggering that memory- and have fun with the children

craziequeen said...

Nice ritual, sending out a little hope for a safe journey.....

All the travelling you do, we all hope you have safe journeys, and come home safe to Morahmommy, the kids and us..... :-)

Hope you had a good day at Wings and Wheels, sounds a fantastic day out.

I have a caption again this week, and have chosen a winner from the other week's one.....

As always, an artistically stirring photograph, my dear.