Saturday, December 31, 2016

The invisible, lifesaving hardware just over our heads

Tight enough?
London, ON
December 2016
I was sitting in the stands of London's Budweiser Gardens at a hockey game the other night. For reasons I don't quite understand, I was bored. And when I get bored, I start looking around for things that interest me. I had my camera on me, and using the zoom (bless the unknown soul who invented this magical optical technology), I surveyed the arena's steel-framed structure overhead.

Eventually, I found this simple detail, a plate of ginormous nuts and bolts connecting two even more ginormous steel girders together. I'm pretty sure no one else in the building gave these much thought, this despite the fact that they made the evening's entertainment possible by keeping the roof exactly where it belonged. Small detail. Often ignored. Oh so important.

I'm not one for grand end-of-year pronouncements and I don't do resolutions. I don't think generic New Year's wishes do much good, either: Better to share kindness every day of the year instead of saving it up for an arbitrary day on the calendar.

But if I were the kind of person who shared platitudes as the clock ticked down to some flashy ball being lowered down a pole by union members in the middle of a comically overcrowded town square, it might look something like this:

This photo captures everything that I've tried to represent not only over the past year, but through the course of my life as I've tried to figure out how this life thing works. Life is busy, chaotic and unpredictable. It's getting faster all the time, and most days you find yourself sitting in the middle of said chaos, trying to find the one thing to focus on, the one thing that'll help you decide where to take your next step. So you look where no one else is looking. You may not see anything at first, but you keep at it. Eventually you find it - don't worry, you know what "it" is when you see it - and if you're lucky, you capture it, and if you're even luckier, you get to share it with others.

In the coming year, I hope you keep looking for those "one thing" things. I hope you find them. And share them. And realize that life really can be as simple as this.

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