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Monthly Archives: May 2011
A friend and I were walking along the Mary St. foot bridge in Hamilton on our way down to the waterfront last Friday evening. It was a gorgeous, summery kind of night that begged to be enjoyed after such a rainy spring. We stopped on the bridge for a little photo op to try to catch those last few rays of the day. Little did we know that the evening was about to take a departure from the expected.
I was waiting at the side of the bridge along the railing when a couple walked by with a large dog on a lead. I later learned that it was a Fila (a kind of Mastiff.) As they passed by, the dog suddenly and without warning or provocation lunged at my right leg and bit me just above the knee. I hit the dog on the snout and it released and the owner pulled the dog off me. There was nothing that could have startled it – I made no movement, noise or anything that could be perceived as a threat. There was no growling or any sign that the dog would be aggressive towards me. It happened so fast and I didn’t see it coming. It wasn’t until it had actually latched on that I registered its movement towards me.
What started as a lovely evening out, turned into a lovely evening at the General ER waiting room where I made lots of interesting friends. A few needles, some antiseptic and a couple of stitches later, I was all patched up and limping along. Public Health was notified so they can follow up with the dog owner and make sure everything is up to date with the dog health wise. This has proven to be very difficult as the owners gave false information – here’s hoping the dog had its rabies shots!
While scary and somewhat painful, ‘the dog incident’ didn’t actually ruin the night- just altered it a bit as new adventures and stories were created to ensure that I will not forget that walk on May 20, 2011. What could have been a predictable walk which could fade into blurry memory, instead became one that I will always remember. The contrast of the pain against the beauty of the night created a foil that allowed me to more fully experience the moment so it is seared into my memory. As my favourite movie says:
“You’ll have bad times, but they’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”- Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting
Also, I get to have a scar. And we all know scars are cool. Sorry if these pics gross you out, but no post would be complete without some.
I was looking after my niece and nephew for a few days this past week while their mom and dad were away at a retreat. They are so great! They’ve got boundless energy until you get them in a car where they promptly fall fast asleep and mysteriously gain 50 lbs of dead weight when you try to carry them out of the car.
I found myself answering countless questions. All day long. My nephew is in the ‘why?’ stage and my niece is in the ‘what does that mean?’ stage. We talked about empathy, Jesus being both human/God, death, hunting and where meat comes from (thank you Bambi), what happens to bodies when they grow up (the G version, I have to save some fun convos for my sister to handle), why the sky is blue, how are rainbows made… The questions went on and on. And on.
And I loved every minute of it! Their constant curiosity and questions caused me to stop and be more aware of the little mysteries that life presents everyday. I want to approach the world with their kind of wonder.
Had the pleasure of shooting Oh Tease tonight. What a great band of ladies to go adventuring with! So many laughs and hilarious predicaments. We may or may not have been ‘surrounded’ by crazy swans at one point. Thanks for the hilarity! A few pics to tide you over…
What kind of story are you writing? A friend asked me this question and it has been reverberating in my mind ever since. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to be part of a stylized photo shoot with Edison Photography - where a picture story was created complete with wonderful, thoughtful details. I had the opportunity to work alongside some fabulous ladies who created a story for the shoot. It was a fun, lighthearted endeavour filled with magic, whimsy and the promise of adventure. An intentional creation was photographed to keep the memories alive and help us recall the small details along the way.
That’s what I want to do. Document life’s moments that are composed on the blank space of our lives – I don’t want to miss the details. Each day we have the opportunity to create and live our own stories. What are we creating? Who have we encountered? What choices are we making? What mark are we leaving? What seemingly small detail have we written into life’s journal that enhances the Story? Who are we helping to read? Being intentional about these questions is important as we create the story that is behind the picture’s image.
After an all too brief visit with my own fabulous mom this morning, I set off for the Footsteps for Change walk in support of maternal health. Such a gorgeous day and I met so many fantastic people! Below are just a few pics from the day to tide you over until I can really get at them. It was great to see so many people come out in support of maternal health with their little ones right along with them!
3 years ago I got lost in the desert. I mean wandering -I’m not sure how I’m going to get out of this- lost in the desert. I had tagged along with some photographer friends to a photo conference in Las Vegas because I had some extra lieu time stored up at work and I love to travel. There was room in the hotel and I had a plane ticket. Little did I know that the spur of the moment decision to travel with a friend would lead to such adventure. Quickly I discovered what an amazing people photographers are. Generous of spirit, fun, inclusive and willing to let a new friend tag along on fun desert shoots.
I had my little Olympus camera and the group of us set off for the Red Rock Canyon. We all split up and wandered in the gorgeous shadows of the red mountains. The sun began to set and I looked around realizing that the rest of the group was out of eyesight. So, I went back to the car. Except that the car wasn’t there. At first I thought it was a funny joke, but then as no one came out laughing after 15 minutes, I figured I had to do something to try to find them. I tried to ‘think like a photographer’ and decided to follow the light to the next scenic spot up the road. While hiking up the mountain in my flip flops (I know, great desert attire) the sun began to set and I started to get nervous. What if they left? What if I’m stuck here all night? What if I step on a scorpion? Wait, are there scorpions here?
I finally reached the scenic lookout and realized to my stomach’s sinking dismay that no one was there. With a big sigh and armed with my camera flash as a source of light, I began the long descent back down towards the guard station at the entrance of the park. By this time it was dark and I was cold. I continued hiking – thirsty, blistered and cold until, out of nowhere, I heard my name being called. It was the sweetest thing. To hear your name rise through the darkness and to know that someone is seeking you is such a comforting confirmation that you are, in fact, not alone. The group had in actuality gone on to the next scenic point, but didn’t realize that were now stuck on a one way mountain road that took a circuitous route back to the entrance and so could not loop back to pick me up as they originally thought. The embraces that followed were some of the most raw and honest emotional connections I’ve experienced. The moments of worry, fear, anger and confusion as I wandered through the Joshua trees were definitely worth it though for the experience and connection of being found. Also, I got this pretty neat picture out of the deal too.
This Sunday on Mother’s Day I’ll be celebrating mom in a different way. I’m going to be shooting the Footsteps for Change event down at Bayfront Park from 1-4. This is a 5km walk that’s being put on by midwives and all sorts of people who care about maternal and newborn health.
You see, every minute a woman dies due to pregnancy related causes. That’s 1,450 women every day. 99% of these deaths occur in developing countries. This past year my sister had some difficulties with her pregnancy and was in hospital for 3 months as a high risk patient – by receiving such good care she and baby Lydia are now both doing well. We are so blessed to live in a country where that kind of care is not only available, but accessible.
All donations raised in support of this event will be donated to Save the Mothers, a locally based international organization working to train professionals in East Africa to improve maternal health. You should check it out. Bring your mum. Not only will you be spending time together (which is what she really wants for mother’s day btw), but you’ll be helping to create change for women in developing countries. www.savethemothers.org.
Last night I had my hand stamped with an image of Martin Luther King Jr. It was striking to me as all day on twitter and Facebook I’d seen a quote from him floating around in response to the states’ jubilant celebration of the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death. Actually what was floating around on the interwebs was not completely accurate, but the sentiment was similar and the real quote is quite powerful:
“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” MLK Jr.
I got the image impressed upon my hand as entrance to a documentary film that was the story of one person who sold all his possessions and entered into life on the street in order to love people and be where they were. The talk post-movie was very inspiring as we heard about the struggles of simply trying to live out faith in a world where people by turn ignore you, beat you up, spit at you, blow up firecrackers in your ear and stab you. And you don’t fight back. And you don’t hate them. And you forgive and have empathy. Love and peace in the face of hate – well that’s something that’s too beautiful for words.
Yesterday I went for a hike around Hamilton that began with a dizzy climb up the escarpment stairs. While this may seem like no big deal internet, I have to tell you that I was intimidated. You see, I have this fear of heights – bridges, balconies, those grated stairs that you can see through. I know it’s strange. I know it makes no sense. The woman who has jumped out of an airplane, walked along the edge of the Cliffs of Moher and that crazy rope bridge in Vancouver has a thing with heights. And by thing, I mean the vertigo certainty that the spinning dizziness which it sure to hit will result in my plummeting descent. I envisioned scenes of me clinging desperately to the steps unable to move while friends apologized to the fire rescue team on my embarrassed behalf. But do you know what happened? I owned those stairs. Sure there were a few dizzy spells and my quads are angry at me this morning, but I did it!
In spite of the couple of dizzying moments it wasn’t actually too bad, so the hike across the escarpment brow continued along a path of discovery that simply was amazing. Finally, I was able to participate in the crazy mix of urban/nature that is Hamilton life and experience the gorgeousness of my home city. I’m not going to lie…there were a few moments of disorientation along the path, especially trusting untried bridges that take you to the very edge. Maybe I was wrong about the heights thing though. Perhaps that world-tilt feeling experienced at great heights isn’t the foreshadowing to a dreaded fall, but is the world spinning to open up new possibilities.