The end of travel always signals a weird, awkward return to daily life. I am spending my morning looking for lost change to take the metro, but then realized that the streetcars have been graciously shut down until Spring 2013. Hmmm, how am I going to take a MacPro home from the shop now? Taxi? Better look for a whole lot more lost change!
Coming home also means laundry, paying bills, picking up dry-cleaning, taking the dogs for a walk, getting groceries, and figuring out what photography work to do next. Since getting back I bought a brilliant duvet cover [regular $800 for $150], my favourite towels from Restoration Hardware, and I spectacular mortar and pestle for $15 that is made from granite [more to come on that]. Perhaps what is most striking is how my two lives, travel and home, seem to conflict so much; one is about leaving it all behind, while the other is about piling it all up around me.
The reason that I have not traveled alone for more than two weeks to places like Australia, Hawaii or even India, is that I realize that I may not come back. The allure of the road is just too great. Like Ulysses, I would easily become swept up in the constant change, the unending experiences and the wonder that can be found as you chase the world through the unknown beauty hidden from us when we dance the daily slaughter at home. I know…soon the travel might become like the work and home life we all experience, the piecemeal work I would need to find to stay on the road would be a struggle, the life I have here is pretty sweet, stable and exponential – that is why I have never just left for the great unknown. Life is also very, very hard and tiring here. The rat race is at a fever pitch in the poor economy, and when I complain here people see that as weakness and ingratitude.
So what is the plan for the next year? As I told V., I think a lot when I travel about what has happened in my life and what I want to happen next. Only a solitary journey can ever bring clarity and coherence to all of the roles we play in our career, our family life and in the public sphere. My plan is to carry on the battle on the home front. I continue to make the most gains in Toronto working for a superb private school, living on the Harbourfront, and producing photography that improves with each major session. The work I have been doing for Base Camp X remains the best work I have done, and Graeme is always the ideal client. Paderno continues to provide a steady supply of top-notch sessions that have built a complete portfolio for me over the past four years. For me to be working for two Canadian companies remains a source of pride for me. While I love to travel, I know that home is here, and that for all of its faults, Canada is the greatest country in the world to live in. Through my work, I also hope to show that Canadian companies are also innovative and strong in a terrible world economy.
One thing is for certain: I need my Sekonic light meter when traveling. I decided to save weight by just using the light meter app in my phone, which is okay, but cannot come close to providing me with accurate spot readings in the night. I really had to fidget with the iPhone to get anything close to what I shot previously. The Sekonic will now always come with me, even at the sake of an extra pair of pants or a pair of shoes.