TITLE: Keep Going

MEDIUM: Photograph

This is one of those images that is more introspective than it is a candid image of a Hamilton neighbourhood. True to Hamilton's character; it's about surviving the odds.

I made this on my first day of shooting in Bartonville. I had a tough time keeping my mind on the job. Only four days before, I was advised that the wife of my best friend, the best man at my wedding, had died from an incredibly sudden brain aneurysm. She was only 33.

So many aspects of this time were absolutely crushing. Especially the fact that while my friend was over there in Prince George, BC losing his wife, and I didn’t know it at the time, I was 4, 000km (2, 500mi) away in Hamilton, ON celebrating my 11th wedding anniversary. Of all the things that my friend and I have in common, probably the biggest thing is that we both adore our wives. We’re not the sort who realizes how much we need them after their gone, we’re fully cognizant and proud of the fact that our lives revolve around the relationships we have with our companions. It’s not any woman that could fill those shoes but the women who could are destined to be loved that way by us.

Also on my mind was the fact that he was now a single father; a widower, thrust into the responsibility of raising his three small children on his own.

Satisfied that I really lucked out when I made the “Black Malkin” shot, I got ready to go home. Instead of driving to Bartonville, I took a city bus there, so now I waited at a westbound stop by the Lawrence Road overpass at Kenilworth Avenue South.

After quite a while, this lone cyclist heading northbound on Kenilworth came into view. With his bike loaded down with cargo, he looked worn out but bound and determined to make his way to wherever his destination was by the way he pedalled. It was as if his presence was reminding me in an instant of the simple truth that there are always obstacles in life that will exasperate me, and make me feel helpless for those I care about. I must acknowledge these circumstances but not allow myself, nevertheless, to be pigeonholed by them or become self-indulgent. Allow myself to feel sorrow for only a short time, do the best I can to be there for my grieving friend; whose pain and loss is far greater than my own, but don’t smother him; make sure that he has his space, know that he’ll carry his family through the turmoil, forever hold those who have passed on in my memory and keep going on with living.

Before the rider got too far away from me I composed and took the shot, caught the bus and went home.

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Black Malkin

Keep Going

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