the big picture



Four and a half hours North East of Toronto is a town called Calebogie. Winding roads lined with grey and rust coloured slate of the Canadian Shield, clean lakes, rivers full of bass. Also in Calebogie is a fancy racetrack at the Calebogie Motorsports Park where I was hired to shoot some video last week. If you've got eight thousand dollars to spare you can rent it for the day. Or for three hundred bucks you can get "the Mustang Experience" - a lesson on how to drive a stock car followed by a ride a on the track with a pro who will drive as fast as you can stomach it.

The pace of the town does not match that of the track. The general store just closed. Talk of the town. It was next to the LCBO so now you can get beer, but not water or milk. Locals say the woman who runs the pizza place is going to pick up the slack and start selling duct tape, toothbrushes and bottled water.

On my drive out there I picked up a curried chicken sandwich in Bancroft. I ate half of it in the loaner car the client provided while I checked my email. Half and hour later ate the rest of my lunch.

I pulled over at a boat launch where a guy in a wheelchair was casting a fishing line into the lake. He didn't notice me. I stood for a while and listened. The midday sun was high. A couple of cars passed over the bridge. Birds glided by, water rippled, a breeze swept through.

Being somewhere else helps to see the big picture. Being somewhere where there is no need to speak. No reason to discuss and analyze and question and debate and argue. No planning, guessing, dressing, worrying, pondering, wondering. No purpose to go fast or slow, to be on time or late or organized or funny or professional. No responsibilities to uphold, no people to impress, or disappoint or rely on.

Of course you do need to get back into it.

The guy in the wheelchair turned around when I started my engine.
He extended his arm out and waved in my direction.
I did the same.