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Sunday, January 6, 2008

On the side of the road.......

Inspiration is one of those things that we find in unexpected places. At least I hope so. Because when I go looking for it, I'm either heading in the wrong direction or so blinded by my quest that I miss it. So, the other day, I happened to be the bathroom.....well, you know what I mean. Now, a bathroom, you an unexpected be inspired. Speak for your own bathroom. Mine---an inspirational place. Anyway, as I was there in my inspirational bathroom, my eyes happened upon some framed black and white photos----one of them being a car on the side of a an intersection of some unknown street and Dream Road, another being a vintage picture of The Racer--one of my all time favorite roller coasters and another--a shot of what looked like a rainy work day in 1950-era Downtown Pittsburgh in front of a looming Mellon Bank building. Even though I can find enjoyment in each one of these pictures, it was the car on the side of the road picture caught my eye that day. Yes, it's been there for quite some time---probably going on 4 years. One of my stand-out friends---THE supremely talented, immensely darling, incredibly dear, highly inspirational, Nike-wearing, drum playing, rock-and-rolling, award winning Professor H---gave it to me. Now, it's one of those things that Professor H does---she gives me things like that. She is most noted for giving me pictures of shoes. Some pretty darn great shoes. Some border-line bizarre shoes. Some freaky I'd-never-wear-those shoes. And, of course, a few shoes that just scream her name. And, then there was the shoe picture that she actually had commissioned for me. Yeah, the girl is one shoe maniac. Well, one time she gave me a picture of tomatoes. She may have a thing for tomatoes too, not sure. Anyway, I put that picture in my kitchen---it inspires my sauce making. So....back to this other picture......the one with the car on the side of the road. It's one of those pictures that, from first glance, looks sad. It's a car on the side of a dark, lonely road. It's actually sort of teetering there---you know, lopsided. It's stopped behind a street sign post with a dim light sort of coming through the trees to illuminate the sign. It's a street sign at an intersection. One street name is visible....Dream Road. The other street name is facing the other way. Now, if you stop and think about it, if the driver is sitting in the car, the driver can only see the street sign that we can't see---not the Dream Road sign. So, if you're in the bathroom like I was, you get the chance to think about it little more. It eventually comes to you that here's this driver---teetering on the side of a dark, lonely stretch of road with no idea that the Dream Road is at the next turn. Of course, we're not sure why this driver is there---did the car break down? lost? eating a snack? having a fight with someone else in the car? are the kids acting up? just needed to have some quiet time? drunk? putting on make up? lost a contact? contemplating going to meet that blind date or not? ran out of gas? blinded by tears? making out in the backseat? I mean, if we knew the answer, it might make a difference. Not sure. What we do know is that this driver cannot see the Dream Road.....but, I can....right there in my bathroom. Now, you might think that here is where I am going to interject some Aesop Fable type of thing or ramble on about dreams and such. But, no. You get it.

I am just going to continue my story.

So, anyway, being that this day that I was in the bathroom was Christmas time and all, I have this little book in there called "Have A Swinging Christmas". (doesn't everyone have seasonal reading in their bathrooms?) Anyway, never read the book, never even opened the thing. No, it's not from the Queen of balanced compassion, the lovely and rhythmic Professor H. She's more of a "Have a Swinging Hanukkah/Chanukah" kind of gal. Got it at T.J. Maxx or Marshall's or some such place. Anyway, that day in the bathroom, I picked up the book. Leafing through it, I realized that it was a pretty fun book---perfect bathroom Christmas reading. Light, quick, fun. Lots of pictures.....well, mostly pictures. My kind of pictures---a bunch of women in various vintage outfits, drinking martinis, smoking cigs, being a bit smarmy, cheap and sarcastic but still making a valid point. On the back cover, I found the author's it turns out, she's a photographer. So, I made note of her website---thinking that maybe I could lift some of her photos for my blog. Yes, I was inspired to commit copyright infringement. ...right there in my bathroom.

Well, anyway....fortunately, I didn't spend the entire day in my bathroom. No, I did manage to get out of there.....inspired and yes.....if truth be told....very relieved. Later that day, when there was a break in the action of my holiday cooking, cleaning and merry making, I decided to look up this photographer's website. Yes, yes, there were a thousand other things I could have been doing. But, being true to my "A Clean Kitchen is the Sign of a Boring Woman" mantra, I put down my dish towel, yanked off my apron and gave the dirty dishes in the sink the finger. A boring woman, I am not.

Okay, so, I go to her around a bit looking for pictures and happen upon this. No, no, I'm not trying to sell you her stuff. (But, it is fun....isn't it?) I was, no.....I was hit over the head, with my eyes sort of bleary and the title of her photo series......Roadsides. Inspired? Yes. Only it was a few levels up from inspired with a few other emotions thrown in with it. It was like this experience that can by described as:
motivaionally-deeply-afewtears-wtf?-omg!- inspired-realization-resolution-whatthehellhaveIbeendoing?

What about THE Stories from the side of the road?

It's not always Further On Up the Road.

Or what about Thunder Road?

Or Backstreets?

Maybe even........

The journey is not just what's up ahead. Learned that in my bathroom.

But, yes, it's always about Bruce......(well, not really....but, sort of.....)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Wow. This knocked my socks off! Wow. I am blown away. YOU NEED TO GET PUBLISHED GIRLFRIEND. Don't wait. DO NOT WAIT. Amazing. WOWWWWWWW! I read this post about 10 times and I will probably read it another 10 and I am sharing it. Incredible stuff. Helped me get over that game last night and my hangover.
love you, Jen
P.S. So sad about your niece's friend. Saw the dad on the news and could not help but cry myself.