Watching Olympic track and field events probably did it. Suddenly, I found myself telling my good friend Lorraine about something that happened when I was around eight or nine – something I hadn’t thought about for a long time.
Because of my severe visual impairment, I wasn’t allowed in sports. It was assumed that too much contact could detach my already delicate retina and leave me totally blind. So, for the most part, I watched.
But then I discovered that I liked to run, and to my surprise, I was good at it. When it came time to participate in a small local track event, I was excited. And then, I was told that I wouldn’t be running. Despite the fact that I had been in races before, and had done very well, it was decided that I couldn’t compete because I “might not see the lines and stray out of my lane”. I was devastated, and watched as the girl they replaced me with finished dead last in the race I had been so ready for. I never ran again. And the experience stayed with me for many years. I was all too aware of my boundaries.
But now, at 58, I am learning to embrace the joy of veering out of my lane. My life experiences, both good and bad, have helped. And my photography has really set me free.
My creaky knees won’t let me run anymore. But watch me fly:-)
This past week, I went on two photo shoots that made me very happy. I had been losing my confidence in my photography over the last few months, questioning my camera, my lenses and my ability after a few less-than-satisfactory shoots. But I seem to have worked out most of the kinks as far as the equipment is concerned – and I’m feeling much, much better about me:-)
Why? Two reasons. First, I went out of my comfort zone and shot the first night of Vancouver’s annual Honda Celebration of Light, and was very pleased with the results. I was a bit intimidated at the prospect of freezing fireworks in action, given the darkness and the speed of the fireworks show. But, surprise! Not all of the photos sucked:-)
Here’s the slide show of my Flickr set. See what you think.
Secondly, I had the opportunity to visit the gorgeous and historic VanDusen Botanical Garden, where I found myself back in my element – among wonderful trees, plants, flowers and water features. I was at home, surrounded by a peaceful silence broken only by quiet conversations of passers-by and the sweet songs of many birds. And I was fortunate to capture some of my favourite flower shots yet. I’m proud to share them with you!
By the way, the lovely lady in the black hat is the one-and-only Dianne Chow, whose Fabulously Frugal in Vancouver blog is a must-read. Thanks to Dianne for the invite, and the chance to share an awesome picnic basket, courtesy of the Garden.