What Happens When My World Shrinks

I’ve been taking lots of photographs lately…my readers know that I’ve been using the pinhole setting on my digital camera even though it pains me when I see other photographers using this devise again and again.  I don’t really know if I have readers…let’s start there…but, I use that reference loosely in the case that someone is following my summer’s journey.

I am a reader.  I read blogs.  (I did finish Richler’s book two nights ago, by the way, so I do read other things as well!) The point being, YOU can include me in YOUR readership.  And, you writers and photographers of WordPress,  you are a big part of my shrinking world!  When I look at your photographs, I see mountains I might have at one time, dreamed to climb.  I see castles and pristine water reflecting setting sunlight on a Scottish moor.  I read about cancer survivors,  art, music, good books listed in all manner of category and I read your struggles with all sorts of things.  For the most part, you are a positive bunch…in fact, I view my own blog as something pretty positive, if not a tad sentimental.  However, behind every person’s story, I get the sense that you, like me, are getting through the day-to-day as well.  You are, at times, looking through your own pinhole camera, at the life that your readers do not see.

I continue to think that one of the most potent blogs that I have connected with here, (‘here’ being a term that speaks of this wee computer desk in my parents’ upstairs- apartment in Ontario…a fan going…the girls sleeping on the pull-out couch just around the corner.  Mom and Dad sleeping soundly in another room) is this one.  Reading the entry, Confronting the Demons of Ethnocentrism this morning, caused that sense of a gigantic world being out there…but, somewhat out of reach.  I see my world getting smaller…and I have to explain why, in some ways, this is a good thing.

Alzheimers is a very frightening disease.  (I just whispered that sentence…)  As a way of giving respect to family and friends who are coping with Alzheimers or other forms of Dementia, as they see the disease revealed through their loved ones,  I hesitate to be the person to write about it. I hesitate to put the words down. I think that’s why I’ve been taking photographs…and through my particular lens.  Having a family member daily-encountering the lost moments and the courageous struggles…noticing the care and love extended by selfless family and friends…all of this causes me to want to grab at my life and hold her close to me.

Now and then I am going to write about Alzheimers as a disease that is pouring itself over much of a single generation and leaving a huge impact on yet another.  I am writing, if I may try, from the point of view of the ‘collective’.

When I closed the book, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz the other night, I felt as though I had been visiting another place and time, the Jewish ghetto of Montreal.  I was immersed in a culture for three nights of reading…one that I had known little about previously.  I had a sense of a much larger world and then woke in the morning to step out onto the sidewalks of Bridge Street; exploring the light, experiencing the humidity and finding a large place in a close-up sort of way.  Do you understand?  In some ways, I feel like Alice.

As I capture moments with my camera this summer, it is my hope that I will be able to archive a giant world within a giant world.  These and other matters remain on my mind and in my heart; Somalia’s famine…another earthquake in Japan, Oslo, a huge island of ice flowing toward Labrador, forest fires raging…mountain climbers and whale-watchers, husbands and wives and the evening news stories, sanitizing hands, shipping food, elections and the state of the U.S. economy, industry, finance, huge booming thunder storms…all of it life…struggle, wonder, awe.

And…at the very same time, my mornings on Bridge Street!  I will try to stop time and really see light.  I will make certain that I hold my daughters’ hands…my sister’s hands, her children’s hands…I will hold my mother’s hands.

2 thoughts on “What Happens When My World Shrinks

  1. Pingback: The Air is Humid and I Feel Like Alice | The Chapel

  2. Pingback: A Broader Experience | The Chapel

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