Friday, March 19, 2010

365 Photo Project - Day 78

Taken: March 19, 2010, approx. 7 p.m.
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

I pass this house on my way to my office every day. I don't know who lives here but I've always like the way that rusty old chair sits on the porch. I don't like taking pictures of other people's stuff. It feels like I'm invading their privacy.

Today as I was leaving my office at the end of the day, I saw that chair on that porch in the fading light and I pulled to the side of the road and snapped a couple of quick photos. The day was nearly gone -- this was the only shot that was anywhere close to in focus.

I've always wanted a house with a front porch. The place we rent has a classic wrap-around, eight feet wide and at least 100 feet from front to back. The pugs love it. In the warm weather, they sleep on the sun-heated planks and have their little flat-nosed pug dreams. Our youngest pug, Chamuco, hops up on our chaise lounge like the royally bred dog that he is and then, my husband tells me, as the late afternoon sun breathes its last gasps, he gets down and sits near the front gate, waiting. My husband thinks he might just be waiting for me to come home. It's a nice thought anyway.

I've talked a little bit about my being a cancer survivor. It's going to be 20 years since my diagnosis and surgery and I can't even begin to say how much and how the experience changed my life forever, how much it's still changing me every second of every day. I find people generally get the whole idea of how a life-threatening illness can alter your entire world view but it's also true that it's one of those experiences that you have to go through to really understand.

Last night, I had dinner with a fellow survivor. She's fresh off her battle still waiting for the words "you are now cured." I actually followed her story third-hand through through a mutual friend. She told me about this woman's courage and spirit but I didn't really understand until I met her last night, until I heard her talk about her experience. She has come quite a long way in a short span of time and I marvel at she's embraced everything that happened to her, the good, the bad, the scars and all, and turned it into -- dare I even say it -- a positive. She's learned lessons in a few months it's taken me years to figure out.

It's hard to imagine having cancer could make you a better person and maybe not every survivor believes it but I do. What doesn't kill you, you know?

I think about this a lot and I think it's maybe why I find the world so damned interesting all the time.

This woman I met last night? She had surgery and chemo and radiation and it was so bad she hardly had the strength to walk across the room. Next month, she's running the Big Sur marathon. Take that cancer. Take that.

I shot this with my K100D and edited in Photoshop.

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