Thursday, January 25, 2007

Bitter and cold

[I re read this post the next day and had to edit it for grammar and continuity.]

The snow blew in to the region today. Quite literally.
We have been having flurries for about a week. For some reason it never seemed to accumulate. Very strange indeed. Yesterday however it actually snowed enough to finally cover grass in the yard and a little bit more. Today, it continued to snow then the wind came in and caused little snow drifts. Something like the buildup of frost in your freezer. Really.

So, after driving at about 5 miles an hour, I made it to a point in the highway where the cars picked up speed to normal cruising. I eventually made it to town and stopped by the grocery store to pick up some tortillas, mac and cheese and egg noodles. The whole while, I was looking at the other shoppers, hoping to make eye contact with someone. All for naught. Nada.

I headed back outside and the wind was ferocious. It's already under 20 degrees and the wind is at about 15 miles an hour. I won't do the math, but it was bitterly cold out.

I made it to the car, tossed in my bag and started the beast up. Across the lane of the parking lot was a person bundled up in a parka with the hood up. I thought I could saunter over there and talk about the organ donor awareness project. I watched the snow blow horizontally and decided to sit in the car for a few more minutes. But then the more I thought about it, people are waiting for organs. In many different situations.

Then I thought about me, sitting here in the car just can't compare to the pain and suffering a person has with a failed liver or kidney.

I got out and headed over to the vehicle to strike up a conversation.

Damn it's cold.

As I approached, I tried to call out over the howl of the wind so as not to startle this person. It didn't work. She saw me about the same time that I called again and was a few feet from her. She jumped a bit. I felt bad. Not a good first impression.

"Sorry". I said. "I tried to get your attention". I offered my card and quickly explained my project as my lips began to freeze. She had a parka and hood. The wind kept blowing her hood down as she struggled with the balance of keeping it up to see me and keep it over her face to stay warm.

Me, I had a cotton jacket of sorts and my new oneaday2007 ball cap. Not dressed for the occasion.

In our short conversation she was an excited donor. Even to the point where she was going to donate her body to science.

At that point, I thought I was going to get a nice portrait. I was already thinking about it in my bead......her slender face and electric smile, framed by the hood of her parka. The snow blowing would have been a tough picture, but a neat shot.

But when I mentioned a photo release, to legally allow me to use the images, her expression changed slightly and I knew I lost the shot. She backed out.

I understand. She also said she didn't have much time and her husband was waiting for her. I really appreciate the time she took especially with the weather being what it was/is.

While I am disappointed, I accepted the fact that I did get to talk to her. Its just that I really like to take pictures.

This project has a double life. It is challenging me to perform a long term project that I have to work at every day for a year. It's also a project that if executed properly, will spread and hopefully begin to have a life of it's own. The portraits however are beginning to intrude and are clouding my overall goal of organ donation awareness.

Even though I was able to talk about the subject of organ donation with her I was still really bummed because of the lost portrait opportunity.

Am I, losing sight of the forest for the trees?

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