(mostly) daily photoblog

Posts tagged “Memory

Somehow, I missed the elephant…

I don’t know how it happened.  I took this photo of one of the elephants at Ragunan Zoo just over three weeks ago.  Somehow, I missed this photo of an elephant.  This monstrously large animal lumbered around its habitat, but I was able to shrink it down in a photo, and then it disappeared on my hard drive.

Hmm…is there a lesson in this?

Bring our yer dead!

Ah, Monty Python.

As for the photo, that’s a lot of dead fish that are washing up on the sandbar after they’ve spawned.  As you can imagine, it smells awesome.  Awesome like a dumpster in hot sunlight.

That guy on the sandbar was among the dozens of other guys out on the river.  You can check out yesterday’s photo to see the numbers.

I grew up in Saskatchewan and my grandfather used to take me fishing on his boat on Weyakwin Lake.  It was beautiful.  This is a lot more crowded (both with other fishermen and dead fish) than what I grew up with and I think I’ll keep my memories, rather than replace them with bad smells and claustrophobia.

A loving reminder

This is a little reminder from me to…me.  It’s been a while since I senselessly bought flowers.  By senselessly, I mean the part of my brain that is not part of the brain – the irrational part of the brain, is what I’m trying to say.

Yes, there are reasons why I love my wife.  Yes, there are occasions to buy flowers.  Yes, there are aesthetic reasons to purchase these aromatic and visually stimulating florae.  But it’s time to do it for no reason whatever.

Because isn’t that what love is?  A momentary stupidity in the face of all things logical that creates a blankness in the brain and a smile on the face?  Well, it’s time to get stupid for love again.

Of course, me, the person for whom I might be gettin’ all stupid might read this, so maybe not tomorrow, or the next day, but soon.  Soon.


WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge: Worn (out)

These are my son’s jeans.  They are worn out – in the knees, anyway.  My wife, with her wonderful sensibility, has relegated these jeans to only certain jobs, like washing the car, working or playing in the yard, and (maybe) visiting family on the weekend.  Definitely not church or school functions.

For me, they bring me back to my style of clothing in twelfth grade.  My “uniform” in my grad year was worn-out, torn jeans and offensive t-shirts, somewhat hidden under plaid, flannel shirts.  I looked like a refugee from a Nirvana concert.  Yup, so cool.

Oh, and this week’s photo challenge on WordPress is Worn.  Check it out.


Photo Friday and the Weekly Photo Challenge merge again.

Photo Friday‘s challenge this week is “Ride.”  The Weekly Photo Challenge from WordPress is “Old.”  I immediately thought of a photo I took over a year ago.  This is a 1957 Chevy Bel-Air.  Someone has spent a great deal of time making this one beautiful.

As a kid, this is the car I wanted.  That was before I understood gas mileage and oil costs and maintenance.  Before I lost the dream for the lameness of reality.

Still, it’s a beautiful, old ride.

Have you ever jumped off a dock into a lake?

Have you ever jumped off a dock into a lake with total abandon?  Actually, have you ever done anything with total abandon?  Ridden your bike so hard that your legs couldn’t keep up?  How about riding the scariest roller coaster that you can find?  What about jumping off a ten meter cliff (that’s 30 feet for my American friends)?  Or doing whatever it is completely freaks you out?  There is that moment that you know that you are no longer in control and whatever it is you’re doing has you, moves you.

There is that moment when you’re in the air and there is no way you can Wile E. Coyote yourself back to the dock.  Your heart is pounding and you’re not sure where you are.  You know there’s no ground under your feet but you haven’t hit the water yet.  You know it’s going to be cold, and it matters not that you’ve been in and out of that water four times already.  It.  Is.  Cold.

SPLASH!  and you’re in.  The splash, that respite from the summer heat, is over before you’ve registered it.  You’re gasping for air as you surface and your brain registered an excited blank.  Just the high-pitched eeeeeeeeeeeeee of adrenaline and cortisol hitting your system.  Then the cheering, from you and any friends who are there with you.

It is way too cold to jump off the dock at Cultus right now.  It’s freakin’ January in Canada.  You’d have to be challenged in a special way to want to do this now.  But that dock had me thinking about abandonment of all sensibilities.  I’m jonesing for Spring, I guess.

On a photo related note, I don’t know what happened this weekend in Cultus Lake, but the water went green.  Usually it is a deep blue, but Saturday the water was green.  This is not PhotoShop trickery.  I did not touch the color saturation levels.  The lake was green.  But enough about the color.

When memory knocks on the door of the mind.

I went to Montreal in September and while there I visited the Temple de la Renommee (or Hall of Fame) in the Bell Centre.   The Bell Centre is the home of the Montreal Canadiens.  The Montreal Canadiens are a hockey team…um…they’re THE hockey team.  If you’re around my age (36) and live in Canada, you probably grew up thinking that there were two Canadian teams in the NHL – the Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Oh sure, there were the Winnipeg Jets, the Edmonton Oilers, the Calgary Flames, the Vancouver Canucks, and the Quebec Nordiques, but if you grew up like I did, there were only two real Canadian teams.  And if you liked the Canadiens, you hated the Leafs, and vice versa.

I was raised to believe that God had created the Habs (the Canadiens are nicknamed the Habs, after les Habitants, a name used for the French settlers and farmers from the 17th century) on the eighth day after he rested up.  Presumably, God needed to rest up in order to create the greatest hockey team to ever exist.  I went through a short phase of liking the Leafs, when Wendell Clark played for them.  Being a Saskatchewan boy myself, I felt it necessary to cheer for a local boy.  I think a good part of it, however, was that I needed to piss off my Dad by cheering for his nemesis.  I still loved the Habs, but needed to rebel a little.

As I sat in the theatre in the Hall of Fame at the Bell Centre, watching the history of the Habs, I relived my childhood Saturday nights watching the Habs play the early game at 4:30 on CBC.  Hockey Night in Canada.  I felt tears well up as I remembered my Dad and me sitting together in front of a tiny t.v. set watching Guy Lafleur, Bob Gainey, Guy Carbonneau, Kirk Muller, and Patrick Roy win the 1986 Stanley Cup.  I was a little overwhelmed by the whole situation – I had no idea how much I loved the Habs, how much they had been a part of my psyche until I was there, sitting in a tiny theatre watching a replay of my 12 year old memory of the Habs winning the Cup.

I called my Dad shortly afterward and we talked a little bit.  I ended up buying him a Jean Beliveau shirt – his favorite player.  I got choked up on the phone and had to cut the call short – I told him it was because I had to move on in the tour, but it was really just that memory had knocked me for a loop.  He’s leaving on a trip to Guatemala tomorrow morning, so I’ll miss watching this season with him – I’ll miss him.  I guess I’ll have to create those memories with my son this year.

The shot above was taken in the Temple and is a mask worn and signed by Ken Dryden in his first season as a Hab in 1971-2.  The marks are from pucks nailing him in the face.  I wonder if that has as much impact as a memory.

Memorials: Our way of saying what’s important, often after we should have acknowledged it.

I spend a lot of time trying to remember inane things like where my car keys are, whether I left a door unlocked before I left the house, and what my colleague wanted on his sandwich from Subway on the lunch run for which I volunteered (lettuce, tomatoes, olives, peppers and pickles – oh sure, now I remember).  I can remember less inane things like my anniversary, my wife’s birthday, and the birthdays of my son and daughter.

This morning I went for a walk with my daughter and came across the Sappers’ Memorial at Garrison Crossing in Chilliwack, BC.  As I wandered around the memorial park I realized how little time I spend remembering that people died for me.  I mean, not me, specifically, but me and others like me.  It was nice to walk around with my daughter and explain what this memorial means, why it was put up here.  She gets it in a visceral way, telling me that she feels sad that these people had to die “that way”.  She is also proud, in her nine year old way, of what they did.

I hope that I remember that moment, the moment when my daughter got it.

My summer is ending.

I have to go to work tomorrow.  I’m not sure I’m excited about this.  In fact, I’m even a little bit miffed.  I don’t know where the last eight weeks have gone.  A major perk in teaching is the summer holidays.  I’m happy that I spent so much time with my wife and children.  I’m a bit off-put by the lack of work I did this summer and I feel less than fully organized.  I’ve two days of training student leaders and then a ninth grade orientation on Wednesday.  I’m hoping that by then I’ll feel like everything’s back to normal, but I’ve got a bad case of doubt right now.

I guess I’ll just have to live on the memories of the Oregon coast.