Found footage, captured with my small CCD camcorder. It struggles in low light situations, but when I brought up the levels in post, out came this amazing grain that gives it such a wistful texture.
When watching this, my eyes tend to gravitate to her hands; the way she moves them with a light, but firm touch, whether it’s getting Dolly to sit down, or brushing cat hair from her nose. They were artists hands. Not particularly striking, but filled with delicate dexterity. Sometimes, I’d kiss the tip of each finger, and she’d tease me by pulling her hand away before I could finish.
It must have been one winter morning, after a run out to Second Cup with their holiday-themed paper cups, watching The Blue Planet in the comfort of a blanket with a cat by our side.
Only after finding this footage did I start to believe that my memories were real, and not just imaginations caught between the haze of desire and denial.
We existed. We existed.
Even if only for a few moments, as wonderful as they were fleeting, one of them captured in 24 frames per second.
I’ve been feeling serene lately.
Serenity hasn’t been something that lasts for me. It comes and goes in cycles. Eventually, I fall off the path, because anger, impatience, love, over-analyzing, are all habits of mine. Habits that resurface when I let my guard down.
The goal now is to keep the serenity going. The hardest part is the fact that I have to be conscious in my attempt. It’s a constant work in progress, and something I can’t stop working on, lest I fall into the trap of my old self again. I’m hoping that eventually, I’ll be able to make this into a good habit, and this peace will come on its own.
So often, it’s hope that gets me through. But I have no need of hope, or closure, or justice anymore. None of that matters. Life is what it is. I’m starting to let go of everything I used to hold dear.
If, 5 years ago, you asked me where I’d be now, I couldn’t have even given you a decent guess.
I never imagined I’d be working in graphic and web design at a dental lab. Or that my job would shift to more of a corporate level, something that happened because I happened to have the right set of skills at the right time.
I never imagined I’d meet people like Bronwen or Julie or Heather G, or Frédéric and Misun, or Jesse and Audra, or Shane and Krista.
I never thought I’d discover bands like Magneta Lane, The Knife, From Autumn to Ashes, and Muse.
I never knew I’d start playing the ukulele. Or have an art gallery show. Or finally, finally, finally start learning astronomy and own a telescope.
But I’m not surprised at where I’ve ended up. And who knows who I’ll meet, what I’ll do, or where I’ll be? Long ago, I decided I’d stay in Ottawa until my Tai Chi teacher retired, and that’s soon coming. This city is comfortable, but it’s also just as small, and I’ve always dreamed of living in an alpha city like Hong Kong or New York or London.
It’s easy to fall into the belief that we’re in control of our lives or our destinies. The reality is that we’re just traveling through life like leaves being carried by the current in a stream. There are so many things that can happen along the way out of our control. Connections you can’t predict. Experiences you can’t even imagine.
I turn 30 in seven months, and I don’t know where I’ll be, in life, love, or home.
The Turning 30 Series
From the visitor centre we check the relief map for our trail. As I’m signing in, Heather G notices my date of birth is in the 80s. I’m the only one, and they joke about how young I am — especially compared to Benoît, who’s a sixties baby — but it never feels like we’re far apart in heart and mind.
We carpool to the closest lot, and strap on our packs for the hike to the cabin.
The trail is fairly easy, and paved most of the way. It’s a very welcome detail when you’re carrying sleeping gear, rain gear, extra clothes, eating/cooking implements, camera equipment, several days worth of food, enough water to keep you hydrated on the way there, and your pack is over 25% of your body weight.