An Eye Opening Experience

Please bear with me through this first paragraph, as my point will become relevant further down! In the olden days of film cameras, one could say that they got different shots ‘on the same roll’ (of film), meaning that the pictures of different subjects would inevitably have been photographed around the same time unless, of course, you were someone who didn’t take many pictures and one film could last a month! In most cases for me, I would have shot a roll of film over the span of a day, or a couple of days at the most. (Here is where I give a shout out to digital photography …. so much less expensive than film!)

But with digital photography, this terminology has gone out the window. You can no longer say that I got these shots on the same roll. But what do you say instead, I wonder? I got these shots on the same ‘camera-full?’, ‘memory-card full?’ … nothing today has the same meaning.

Why this preamble? Well, the point I want to make is that I got the photographs of this vintage Bentley, within hours of taking these pictures of the completed piece of street-art that was created specifically in recognition of people who have been the hardest-hit by the rough patches that life sometimes hands out. In essence, the contrast between the richest and the poorest in society was highlighted by this one ‘roll of film’.

But my story goes beyond the financial disparity amongst classes in society, and is a discussion of the fact that sorrow sees no boundary, based on money. Let me explain ….

A couple of weeks ago I had to go uptown to see a medical specialist for a problem I am having that is bothersome but not life-threatening in any way. This doctor was one I had never seen before, and her office was located in a swanky part of town. I arrived at the closest subway stop early so decided to walk the rest of the way. That’s when I passed this Bentley, parked in front of The Rolex building, where affluent people go to have their very expensive time-pieces repaired.

I got the shots and continued onto my doctor’s appointment. Upon arrival, I sat in the waiting room for almost an hour, as things seemed to be very busy. I caught glimpses of my new doctor as she walked out patients. She was obviously working very hard and I was not bothered by the wait, as she had a fresh stack of excellent magazines and a very comfortable spacious waiting room.

My turn came along and I was escorted into her office. We sat down and while listening to me discuss my situation, she got a call on her cellphone, which after apologizing, she took. I overheard a detailed discussion involving a piece of medical equipment. I assumed she was talking to someone at a hospital or another clinic. She finished the call by saying that she had to get back to her patient … me.

Then she apologized again and looked me in the face and said “My husband is dying of cancer and I had to explain something to my daughter”. Tears sprang into my eyes for this stranger and her family who were going through the most difficult time probably has ever faced in their lives. I told her I could leave and come back another time, to which she responded with a compassionate touch to my arm and the absolute determination that she wanted to and felt she needed to help me.

The story highlights the fact that pain and sadness hits everyone regardless of financial situation. Of course I am stating the obvious and we all know this already, and not to turn this selfishly into something about me, but the experience has weighed-in on a decision I have been toiling with lately.

I am currently not employed within the field for which to worked hard to get educated in, and into which I have put a great deal of effort into over the past. I decided to take a year off to pursue more artistic interests and to reduce the level of stress brought on by the ‘big’ job. This has meant living a life-style that involves being more careful with money. When in the past I would not have considered the cost of a meal in a fancy restaurant, now we save those for the most special occasions in life. I no longer buy overly expensive clothes and don’t own a designer handbag. And I have become reacquainted with the fun of thrift-store shopping. However lately, I’ve been thinking of going back to the type of job that pays well and is no-doubt exciting, but is also very time-consuming and exhausting. My recent experience has caused me to perhaps re-evaluate the job pursuit, because right now I may have less money to spend but I have plenty of time to enjoy life’s littler offerings. I think the job-search will be put on the back burner for a while longer.

Phew, I’ve been a Wordy-Wendy on this one … thanks for reading.
xo loulou