Friday, October 28, 2011

Day Forty-One: Perspective

My legs tingle against the thin-skin jogging pants. I'll need to buy wind-pants this weekend, I think. Or maybe just start wearing snow pants. I wonder if that would be too hot. I take a picture of an ice puddle, leaves dead and dying in it's basin. I try once with natural lighting, but it's pretty dark. Once with the flash, but the digital looks odd, like a picture of something close-up under water. I walk and realize I've dropped my blue, woolen mitten. I return and try a picture from the mitt's perspective. Lesley Farley's been teaching our students about camera angle and composition, and I've been thinking about it, too.

The morning is fresh like a dry shower. I know the sun is at my back, behind the hills, but the light is dull, and as Lesley points out, light makes a photograph speak, so I miss the sun until I'm walking by several open lots and the sun smiles between a building and a tree. I snap directly into the ball of fire. My shadow seems like it's own little person, against the highway ditch, against the school's treed perimeter, out there, dancing in the sunshine.

At morning break, Kelsey, a former student, pops into my classroom to remind me that we have a date at lunch. We've been trying to get together since last spring, and finally this week we decided to go to Outreach for Friday lunch together. We both have long hair, her's blonde and mine brown, and I'm loving our shadows, with hair billowing and arms swinging, walking the side-walk, side-by-side. I photograph our shadow's turn at the corner.

This is Kelsey's second trip into the Outreach. Last spring we spent an afternoon volunteering with Trudine, putting clothes away, tidying, taking stuff to the goodwill boxes, throwing cardboard away. Everybody was pitching in, and then a group of five or six of us sat on the couches and Trudine entertained us with a variety of Saulteaux words and their literal meanings. She was mostly laughing, telling us the funny side of language, and when one of the regulars leaves, he speaks to her in Saulteaux and she fires back. She tells us that they always call each other Ugly, it's their little joke. He passed away this fall, and he is missed. Trudine, herself, has had to stop volunteering because she needs to take care of her health. I look forward to her feeling better.

We eat pork soup. Dip Keitha's bannock in the broth. Kelsey and I barely have time to visit, enjoying our food, and sitting on opposite sides of the long table. Kelsey visits with Keitha, talking about their favorite books. "Sure," Keitha says, "I'll take some books. I know who likes to read, even some of our guys. We'd love some books."

I visit with Keitha's granddaughter, Miranda. She's reading one of Michael's favorite author's, David Geddings, I think. Bet I spelled that wrong. I read one of the books, actually, maybe the whole series when Victoria was first born. I remember reading in our bed on McIntyre.

A former student, Sharee, her son and boyfriend are enjoying soup and bannock. One of my former students, Dakota, a tall young man, comes in. I shake his hand. We share the meal and visiting. I ask if I can take some pictures for my blog, and I snap a few. Just before I leave, Dakota asks me when I'm going to get a table tennis table outside so we can play table tennis. He and I used to play at school. I say, "Yah, that would be great." Then I look at the double table in the middle of the room, in a rectangular shape. "Hey," I say, "We could put a net on this table and play." I look at Keitha. "Can I bring some paddles and a net? Hook it up?"

Keitha grins. "Sure."

Later, I look at the picture of my student standing beside me, and I wonder what people see? I wonder if they know this young man absolutely loves table tennis? That he's a good sport? Respectful. Hopeful. Humble. It all depends on the perspective, I think; the more light we shine on each other the better the picture.

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