Saturday, September 16, 2006
One of the (many, many) strange things about life is its persistent nature. After someone dies, life keeps on going for everyone else even though it seems impossible that this could be true. I know, every armchair philosopher on the planet has mulled over this whole mortality business - but I must say that despite knowing my mother's death was coming (she was ill for a long time), the finality of her passing has left me in a bit of a surreal daze.
This was not helped at all by a peculiar moment today at the Threshing Festival at the Historical Artifacts Park down the road. Dad was volunteering there and I popped in to say hi and check out all the cool steam-driven engines that were hissing and chugging and clanking and whooshing away...
The museum is a pretty cool place to hang out - very casual, lots to see. The model train people also use the property and they had their small trains running (large enough for people to sit on, though the engines barely come up to my knees). At some point, I started wandering around in the hidden corners of the place where the as-yet-unrestored bits and pieces of machinery, old wagons, tools, sawmills, ploughs, and other amazing stuff are stuffed into sheds and barns and shelters and I had this flashback to driving around to old farms in Alberta with Mom.
She spent hours and hours and hours poking around decaying homesteads, photographing rusty ploughs and rotting vehicles and I started seeing things completely differently.
Next thing I knew I was grovelling around underneath some horsedrawn carts, snapping away, having something like an out-of-body/not-my-memory experience as I imagined what Mom would have photographed had she been there.