Monthly Archives: November 2009

Small Town Photo Trip

Field 2

Tina and I headed to a couple of small towns around Ottawa. She had her Nikon and I was armed with my new Canon 5D Mark II, which is a full frame camera and gives me such wonderfully wide angles. You can see her shots at her flickr set. They give me great ideas on how I can look at things from another perspective because they’re so different from mine, approaching shots from closer ranges and composing with more diagonal angles.

Field 1

This is by far my favourite shot (above), and I’ll probably get a large print of it when I have the money. There’s a series of acrylic paintings by Ken Vincent at the Koyman Galleries in Ottawa, and I’ve always wanted this one in particular because the colours and the moody clouds speak of pure emotion to me, and I never believed I was capable of capturing such moments with my last camera1. The price — $2300 for a 28"x61" painting — had always held me back, but now I’m confident I can get that elusive look I’ve been trying to capture, myself.

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  1. A Canon Digital Rebel Xt []

Unwitting Puppet

If it hasn’t been painfully obvious, I’ve fallen off the wagon. I’ve been thinking about her again.

But it isn’t my fault.

You see, she came by my work and gave me a box of homemade shortbread cookies in a cute little box (as well as some for my other co-workers). I would normally say that it’s a nice gesture, but in this case, it was a cruel and painful reminder of what I had lost. But that pain subsided as I ate them (admittedly, in one sitting) and I decided to forgive her for that one. It’s hard to stay angry when the sugar and butter hits your brain.

Then she walked by at a concert, and squeezed my arm as she was passing by. I didn’t even know she was there until it happened. Then she did it again.

This whole time, I’ve been trying to get over things by staying away, and I was doing pretty well, until the touch1 of her hand fanned the ashes of passion that were left smoldering in my chest, reversing several weeks of emotional recovery.

I told my friends I knew I was being selfish, because I’m the weaker one for not being able to handle it when she’s dating someone else2. But they tell me it’s not selfish, it’s self preservation. That I’m just taking care of myself, and she’s the one being selfish and inconsiderate, because she’s not respecting my wishes to keep a distance. I’ve since stopped feeling guilty for staying away.

Still, I’m left with this wondering. What do her actions mean? What is she trying to communicate? What does she want?

I can only guess that she wants to remain friends, but there’s this stupid hope in the back of my mind that it meant something more. Maybe it’s a habit; I lived with that hope for more than a year as we fell into a relationship at arms length.

I’ve considered going back to her and asking for some closure — some real closure — but I don’t think even she can explain her actions at this point. And if she could, her answer would probably be the same as it’s always been.

But I really don’t know for sure because she’s chosen not to stay away, against my wishes, and my heart feels like it’s hanging by a thread. I doubt she’s doing it on purpose, but yet again, she gets to figure things out at the expense of my emotional stability. After all, it’s hard me to move on when mixed signals are holding me back, like an open, gaping wound constantly being picked.

  1. This is the same sort of caress that can melt one’s resolve when coming from a person for whom one has a weakness. Humbert Humbert refers to this at the end of Lolita when he says to her, “Don’t touch me. I’ll die if you touch me.” []
  2. Then again, at least I know enough to stay away, instead of stalking and going psycho. []

People Being Nice To Me

Tao Te Ching cover

Louise gave me a gorgeous copy of the Tao Te Ching. It’s translated by James Legge, with classic Chinese art from the Cleveland Museum of Art. What’s especially cool is that the fonts used for the titles is Avenir, which is the same font I used for my second Tao tattoo.

Tao Te Ching page 1

It’s perfect because I feel like I’ve strayed from the path lately. It’s been a few weeks since I picked up the book and read a few verses.

Tao Te Ching page 2

I really like the fact that many of the pages have no verses, and only artwork. It’s nice enough that I’ll probably keep it out on my coffee table, instead of in my bookshelf hidden in a closet1.

Bamboo bookmark

She also gave me this bamboo bookmark, with a Confucian saying on it. I find it funny because Confucianism opposes Taoism, though they both have very good ideas.

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  1. Not that I don’t like to display books, I just prefer to keep a neat house. []

Greatness Of My Own

When I was dating Louise, and we talked about our exes, she told me one of hers was going to be a diplomat, and they broke up because she knew she wasn’t meant to be a diplomat’s wife. I understood. By marrying into certain careers, you marry into those responsibilities as well, and they can be too much for some, me included.

So she was with me. I wasn’t bound for greatness like that.

Still, it made me wonder; what was I meant for? What did she see in me?

I know I wasn’t meant to changed the world.

But I still think I was meant to affect the lives of others. I was born for greatness of my own, as small as it may be.