Friday, November 21, 2008

Pain in the asphalt

Baked, not fried
Montreal, QC, May 2008

About this photo: We're still sharing "broken"-themed photos as part of this week's Thematic Photographic. Click here to share yours. And if you're in a captiony mood,head over here for the latest Caption This. Barely two days before the next winner is named and fame and fortune visit yet another blogfriend's home.
Hospitals are, by definition, depressing places. The good stuff that happens there - namely little people coming into the world and sick folks heroically beating the odds - can't seem to push away the overwhelming gloom of illness and despair.

On this day, we had come to this hospital, where I had ironically been born, to visit my father. Today had been a pretty good day for him, relatively speaking, but I still left the building feeling uncertain about my family's collective state of being. No one likes when loved ones are ill, and we never really accept that our parents can get old and vulnerable.

And as we walked back to the car, I found myself looking down, wondering about things bigger than me over which I seemed to have little control. And all I could see was broken pavement. I'm sure there were nicer scenes down there: nicely mowed grass, perfectly tended gardens, and even the occasional bounding rabbit. But my eyes couldn't see them.

Your turn: Do you look down when you walk? What do you see?


cube said...

I'm thinking the photo looks like an elephant's hide, but I know it isn't.

Hospitals can be places of great joy (birth) or places of great sorrow. Hopefully, you will find yourself at the former and not the latter.

Mystic Thistle said...

I've looked down as I walked ever since I was a girl. I was always looking for little things, like snails and I found many lost treasures this way. My husband has always looked up and so I have learned through him to look for the interesting birds as well, but I still love to look at the ground. It's nice to have both now.

I am sorry your father is ill. It is so hard on the family. Sending you hope and thoughts today across the miles.

Beth@Pages of Our Life said...

Its amazing how something can capture our feelings in a moment like that.

Hope your father is okay.

Admin said...

I look at too much when I walk. A walk can be intoxicating for me. Details swarm in from all sides, as I don't seem to be able to filter them. I look at the ground, the way trash and twigs have become intertwined, I look at buildings, even though I've viewed all their details before, I look at the sky, the clouds, the shadows, and I look at people. What are they carrying? What moods are they in? What do the lines on their faces say?

kenju said...

I am always looking for lost treasures - and pennies. I also notice patterns in pavement, fallen leaves, odd color combinations, etc.

Lori Schmidt (LoriProPhoto) said...

Hi Carmi
I have a habit of looking down too but this is mainly because I have horses and am always on the lookout for something that has been tossed unthinking out of a car window or such, like glass, nails, metal, on which my horses could hurt themselves. The bottom of our fields borders on the county road and I am constantly picking up bottles, whole and broken, soda cans and packets from fast food, that has been tossed from a passing car. Hmmm thre is a thought for some photo ops.

I hate hospitals (over the last 8 years I have spent a lot of time in them with my husband's health problems and find them cold and unwelcoming - unlike when I was a child). My Dad passed away in September, he was 78, but was in Cape Town SA and I didnt get to see him, in a way I am glad because the picture I have of him in my mind is the last photo I took of the two of us together 9 years ago. My Mom passed away 28 years ago, so I have never really had a close family.

Anna taught me to look up and now you have given me the urge to shoot things when I look down too LOL.

Lori Schmidt (LoriProPhoto) said...

I am sorry I meant to add that I am thinking of you and your family during this difficult time with your Dad's health. (((Hugs)))


Mojo said...

Clever title. But I know your pain Carmi. I have swum that same murky channel my friend, and it's not any easier when you know for sure how the story will end.

But I kinda think my dad would have been annoyed that we were focusing all this attention on the gloom and despair of his illness rather than marveling at the often amazing things he'd done in his life.

And not to suggest that I know so much, but I suspect that it's much the same with your dad. Nobody brings up someone as solid as the guy I read in these pages without doing a whole lot of things very right. Just sayin'.

I look everywhere as I'm walking. (I know I'm being paranoid, but am I being paranoid enough?) I've taken more than a few spills as a consequence too. But I really don't want to miss a thing. And yet, I'm constantly amazed at the number of times I hear myself saying, "Who knew that was there?" Sometimes even out loud. (Which can be a little disconcerting if anyone hears me.)

Of course the tendency to look everywhere often shows me things I'd rather not see as well. And those may be the most valuable experiences I have in those walks.

Martha said...

So sorry to hear your father is ill and hospitilized. I'm sending good thoughts and prayers.
Love your broken pavement photo - kind of ironic isn't it ::sigh:: Thank you for the nice comment you left on my entry for the broken theme this week.

Robin said...

Your family has seen too much of hospitals this year, Zach, Noah's ER run, now your father.

A refuah shlema to your father, and a hope for more peaceful times and brighter sights to come.

Nikita said...

When I look up, I am afraid of things I do not understand. When I look forward, I am afraid of things to come. When I look back, I am haunted by mistakes unforgiven. But when I look down...then I feel at home.

Vodka Mom said...

I love the shot.

For me, hospitals are not fun. Although I've spent MANY an afternoon in the ER with both my husband and son (who are SO accident prone), I've vivid memories of my mother's unexpected death. It's that experience that haunts me when I walk into a hospital. sigh.

Maggie, Dammit said...

I'm struck by how similar this picture is to the one in your last post.

I hope your dad is okay.

Rainbow dreams said...

Carmi, so sorry to hear your Father is ill, I hope he improves seem to have spent far to long in hospitals of late.
Thank you so very very much for coming by, it was lovely to see you, and sorry I haven't stopped on my journeys past here.
I spend more time looking up than down, though my daughter often finds pennies and such like from looking down...I'm sacred I'll miss out if I always look down!, hugs to you, Katie

Anonymous said...

Excellent shot to go with a moving and thoughtful post. All the best to your dad and family.

Vodka Mom said...

By the way, you might like the photos here..

when I saw them I thought of your post!!!

Pamela said...

strange, the things that you focus on during a stressful time.

Anonymous said...

I look down when I'm down. Lately I tend to look forward and around corners. It's a reflection of my mindset.
I said a prayer for your family today, Carmi.