Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Story of a Marriage - Part 2

Life's not-so-rich pagaent
Toronto, ON
July 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Zoom in. Zoom out. See something different every time. What the heck am I talking about? Read on...

The previous photo in this series was of a wedding party - bride, groom, bridesmaids, and mother of the bride - apparently taking pictures in a public square near Toronto’s City Hall.

This photo is of the same scene, shot slightly wider. When you pull the lens back, you see things you otherwise would have missed.

Like the homeless man sleeping mere steps away from the happy couple. It’s the quintessential story of haves and have-nots, and the sad tragedies of modern lives playing out in uncomfortable proximity to each other.

My late father used to use the following phrase to describe how he felt anytime he crossed paths with someone he felt was less fortunate than he was: “There but for the grace of God go I.” It’s stuck with me.

He first used it the day I was born, as he sat in the hospital waiting room with another almost-dad. That man’s child experienced a distressed delivery, and was oxygen-deprived long enough to result in multiple lifelong disabilities. My dad, on the other hand, left the hospital with a happy wife and a healthy child.

I still wonder about the razor-sharp margins that separate me from the disabled child who shares my birthday. Or the ones that differentiate the seemingly advantaged family on the right from the clearly disadvantaged man on the left.

Life isn’t fair. It doesn't have to be. It just is. And I feel obligated in some way to observe the hard differences, no matter how unfair they may seem.

Maybe that’s the price we must pay for being haves rather than have-nots. Maybe it's how we ensure we never forget just how good we've got it.

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