Monday, July 9, 2012

Going On A Solitary Stroll

Last week, I spent two hours strolling through the Cataraqui Cemetery, the place I went with my two fellow students and my teacher when we had our photoshoot class. I went there alone. No darling husband this time. I always enjoy his company, and he’s a terrific photographer’s assistant - carries my camera bag, hands me another lens when I want to change it, and all that - but I also have moments when I need to be completely and utterly alone. So I can get lost in my thoughts. And recharge my inner batteries.


I decided to go back to the cemetery, which is scenic and quiet, especially very early in the morning, not long after it has opened.


My being in deserted places by myself freaks my husband out. He worries that something will happen to me. Someone will attack me. Mug me. Bonk me over the head to steal the DSLR hanging around my neck and sell it on Craigslist or Kijiji or wherever for a quick few bucks to buy drugs or whatever. Sweetly protective, but cynical, my husband is.


“I should get you a can of mace” He said.

“What? Mace? I can’t carry around mace. It’s illegal.” I said.

“If you get caught, just say I put it there.” He answered.

I just smiled at him as I put on my sandals to leave. Last week, he had mentioned a switchblade. I wonder what’s next.


When I got to the cemetery, it was very quiet. Deathly quiet (intentional pun). There wasn’t a soul – living or dead (there I go again!) – in sight. I pictured my husband with a worried look on his face. I almost called to tease him a little about how deserted the place was, but thought better of it. I didn’t call. It would be too mean. Plus, my phone’s battery was dead.


But his worries started floating around my head, haunting me, and next thing I know I’m feeling all kinds of paranoid. Damn. So I slipped the umbrella we keep in the car into my camera bag. I could use that to protect myself. If it came to that.

My favourite part of this stroll

You laugh about the umbrella, but it makes a pretty good weapon. Years ago, a friend of mine came face to face with a mugger on her way home from work. When he tried to grab her purse, she started whacking him over the head and on whatever other body part she could get to with the umbrella she was carrying. Her earsplitting screams and the forceful umbrella smacks raining down on him scared him so much that he ran away. Not so funny anymore, eh?


So feeling a little more secure by being armed with an umbrella, I strolled around the cemetery confidently. Only to realize after awhile that I was worried for nothing. Along the way, I ran into quite a few groundskeepers. Silly me.


I was sure that this outing would now be peaceful and my head would be clear from any unnecessary thoughts, and chattering.

I was wrong.


My husband’s voice was replaced by my photography teacher’s. Every time I prepared to take a picture, I could hear him saying things like “Check the composition”; “Is your framing right?”; “Is that tree necessary?”; “Did you check your ISO?”; “What about the aperture?”; “Are you close enough?”; “What is the visual focal point?”

Sigh


And when I finally got that voice out of my head, home life returned... “What’s for dinner?”; “Mom, can you drive me to my friend’s house?”; “Is the laundry done?”; “We’re out of peanut butter”; “I can’t find my keys”; “Tell my sister to stop using my shampoo”

And of course... “Meow...” Yeah, cats, too.

Double sigh.


Despite the voices, I managed to snap over 200 photos, some of which I shared with you today and others that I’ll share with you in other posts either later this week or later this summer. Or just later. We’ll see.


I got home two hours later. Exhausted. And wondered if I should head to the airport instead next time. (Only slightly kidding) There is a beach somewhere waiting for me. I just know it. Perhaps it’ll be far enough away, so the voices of life won’t follow me.


26 comments:

  1. I can see why you wanted to go back there Martha, it's a beautiful place. I can also see why your hubby is worried for your safety! I'm a worrier about that kind of thing as well. Last year, my sister woke up in the early hours of the morning to find a total stranger with a knife at the end of her bed. Strange things can happen anywhere. Please be careful. Gorgeous photos, though!

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    1. OHMYGOD, Sulky!! Are you kidding me? That is horrible and absolutely terrifying. I do hope your sister is okay. Yes, terrible things can happen anywhere. I am always careful. I do joke about it in this post, but I keep my eyes open.

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  2. Fantastic photos and what a great post. Your blog is an easy read. That's a compliment by the way! Truly, I get the feeling that your "blogging voice" sounds just like your speaking voice. Does that make sense?
    Now about those voices in your head...
    m.

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    1. Haha...yes, my blogging voice is probably just like my speaking voice. It makes perfect sense. I write the way I would talk to people in person. Makes it much more personal. Thanks for the compliment; it was taken like that. Can't do much about those voices in my head, but 'we all' live in harmony together...most of the time....

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  4. Oh, even though the 'beach' is a great idea, those 'voices' will come with you!
    I really liked this post Martha. Getting to know you better and see the passion you have in your photography. Very nice work!
    Now that cemetery! OMG! What a beautiful place! Looks like a park!~ We are definitely doing something wrong here in Nova Scotia when it comes to planning/designing cemeteries.
    I have a weakness for rusty wrought-iron anything...this fence photos is wonderful.
    Oh yes, one more thing! |Tell hubby that the camera you have makes a great weapon as well....just start whirling that around by the strap! It can deter anything! It would be covered under house insurance! lol

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    1. You are so right, Jim! There's no getting away from those voices. No matter how far I go, they are there!

      This cemetery is absolutely gorgeous. I really enjoy walking through there and taking in the sights and gentle sounds. Perfect place to de-stress and take photographs.

      Haha...yes, the camera makes a very good weapon. It's quite heavy and I imagine it could cause considerable damage.

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  5. Your photos are terrific, you know. I especially like the frog, "sing and dance forever" and the lily pads from this assortment.

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    1. Thanks, Debra. There are always frogs near that pond and I snap a million photos of them every time. They are so darn cute.

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  6. Hahaha, I lol'd all the way through this one Martha! Hmmm... hearing voices at the cemetary are we? A little black humour to start my day :) Great shots - llike Debra, I loved Mr. Frog - fabulous colour and detail in that one, and "sing and dance forever".

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    1. Lots of voices at the cemetery...haha... There are so many photo opportunities in this place. I must go back again. I still haven't covered the whole cemetery. It's quite large.

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  7. What a great post, Martha...both your photographs and writing! Like Jane, I laughed all the way through. I think we moms are definitely most prone to having those pesky voices follow us everywhere we go. There seems to be no getting away from them. And people really look at me funny when I put my hands over my ears and scream, "Make them stop!" :-)

    Your photography just keeps getting better and better. I like all of these, but am partial, of course, to the frog.

    By the way, did you hear what the frog ordered at McDonalds? A Hoppy Meal, two Diet Croaks, and a side order of flies. (a little corny humor for your Monday morning)

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    1. I think we take everyone along with us wherever we go...LOL... Drives me batty sometimes!

      That frog is my favourite part of that day. I just can't get enough photos of him/her.

      Hehehehe...loved your joke, Beth!

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  8. Wow! Would I ever love to visit that cemetery! I too have been warned about being in cemeteries alone but it didn't bother me until I read about the 60 yr old woman in Toronto who was raped while visiting her mother's grave. Unfortunately I have gone from being totally at peace in graveyards to slightly nervous. Part and parcel of being a woman. Anyway great post, I'm glad you went but be careful, Martha.

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    1. Wow, Francie, that just freaks me out. Are you serious? That is horrible. Yes, I am always careful, but I think I'd prefer hubby being along next time. At least in such an isolated place.

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  9. Thank you for taking us along with you. What a stunning place.
    I love cemeteries:)

    IN my martial arts class we learned of a lady who used a water bottle as a weapon when she was attacked. A very effective tool it was.
    I also learned (At the slutwalk on Sat) that wasp spray can be carried and used as mace. Wasp spray is not illegal:)And yet kind of awkward to carry around...hmmm.

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    1. Wasp spray is a grea idea. And I'm sure there are a whole bunch of other sprays that someone could take along that aren't illegal...just normal household products. Hey, we have to protect ourselves, don't we?

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  10. Dear Martha,
    These photos, what can I say, each and every one is so good, I love them all. Shhh...don't let people know how quiet and beautiful cemeteries can be, that will be our little secret, okay?
    For security, it really is better to have someone with you, you know. Hey, I'm American, maybe it is different in Canada, eh?

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    1. Our crime rate is lower, but we're not immune to it. We still have to keep an eye out and be careful. You just never know when some nut will cross paths with you.

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  11. A woman after my own heart. I take my photo walks alone, too. I need to be able to concentrate on what I am seeing without distractions like conversation.
    I particularly love the frog pic. Great clarity and detail.

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    1. When my husband is along, he's very good at waiting patiently while I take photos. But when my kids are there, forget it...not the most patient. But there are many times that I do like to snap pictures while I'm alone.

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  12. oh Martha, i showed the picture of the "together forever" bench and my hubby was "yes, together ... forever" "Psycho sound track and all... ;-) But the photos are so beautiful. I really like the toad photo as well.

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    1. "They're coming to get you Barbara..." It's not people that you need tow worry about. It's zombies!

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    2. Haha...now I have the Psycho soundtrack in my head!

      Hahahahaha....WebDebris, now that's funny! Zombies are the fear of the day!

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  13. Woops, sorry that wasn't meant as a reply. My cat walking on the keyboard strikes again!

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