Thursday, March 07, 2019

Reflecting on a concrete journey

No life here
Toronto, ON
March 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
We've become creatures of habit, taking the same routes to the same jobs in the same places day after day. We barely give it much thought, probably because we're a little too focused on what awaits us when we get there, or how many hours we've got left till it's Friday. Till we can get off the treadmill for a couple of days. Till we have to drag ourselves back to the routine the following Monday.

Yet for something that sucks up so much of our wake-time, we have precious little to show for it. Because we rarely bother to remember what that commute looked or felt like. I'm not suggesting we shoot pics with our smartphones from behind the wheel, as that would be highly illegal. But a quick capture at a time, in a place where it can be done safely and unobtrusively could potentially start a conversation about the journeys we take, and what we encounter along the way.

My story on this day was a simple one: This is a concrete wall beside a snow-covered train track. It's located just west of Toronto's Union Station, and I took it a couple of minutes before arrival. I've become a regular on this train - for the record, Via Rail #82 that leaves London at 6:25 a.m. every weekday and arrives in Toronto at around 8:35 - and taking placeholder pics of the journey has become a bit of a personal obsession.

Without context, it isn't much of a picture. But in the moment, it tells a story of the things we do to keep ourselves, our families, going. It also tells a story of how far we're willing to go to keep the lights on, and how important it is to bring those experiences home at the end of the day.

Because in the end, my journey to Toronto on this morning was as much my family's as it was mine. And I'm guessing that logic applied to everyone on that train, as they continued their own journeys. We're never really alone, then, are we?

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