Framing a future
My oldest friend, my best mate from high school, the reason I chose WA as my fresh start all those years ago (2007), and the guy I learned how to white water kayak with every Friday after school… Benny. A is getting married next month to his forever smiling fiancé Allie.
Ben has been there with me through so much. He knows ‘pre 2007’ me and is, apart from my family, the only person I have remained in contact with from my ‘pre 2007’ life. We drove to schoolies together. We sat our last high school exam together. We ventured down to Penrith lakes, by the olympic white water park, and spent hours every weekend trying to teach ourselves how to eskimo role a kayak. In many ways he was my escape… my way out.
When the time came to buy an engagement and wedding present I knew it needed to be something more than white towels or a Breville blender. It needed to be personal and something only I could give. This all happened about a month after I reached WA, back in late May this year. So the first thing which came to mind were my photos from my 2012 solo drive across Australia. From there I sat down and went through each photo looking for inspiration.
The common link, between my trip and Ben & Allie’s upcoming marriage, quickly became apparent! They both involved a journey with an unknown destination (horizon) in sight. The way I captured MY journey was through photographing my closest companion, my guide home, my only constant in a continually changing environment… the Australian Road. If you have read my About page you will know the details behind why the road was the star of my blog.
The choice was easy. The gift would be a framed photograph of an Australian road captured by me during my one man flight west, but which one? To find an answer I had to find some more similarities between their nearing change and the road. I had to look closer… and bang!! as soon as the word change entered my thoughts I realised Ben was about to make a change in direction. A bend in his road was nearing.
The choice was made, a framed photo of a road bending in the distance. But given our history this seemed too simple and I knew it needed some more thought. Beyond my passion for photography and architecture is my passion for writing, so I decided to combine the two – well the three really given it was architecture which taught me to think this way. My answer was to come up with a short blurb. Something which captured in a sentence the idea of the “bend nearing” and linked that to his upcoming change in life.
After struggling with a few ideas the opening two lines, to what eventually became my second ever attempt at poetry, were written – along with the beginning of the third line.
THE BEND IS HERE
THE BEND TO HER
That night I sat in bed with my laptop rested on my knees and within about 30min I had the first draft completed, along with deciding to add two more framed photos to the gift and a separate frame for this soon to be finished poem. After a good nights sleep I woke up, made a few changes, corrected a couple spelling mistakes and it was complete. Next I needed to choose two more photos as more were needed to help finish the present off. One had to contain a road disappearing into the distant horizon, preferably with a hill or mountain added, and the last required a hill or a crest.
The three photos each represented different stages throughout Ben & Allie’s future journey together.
The Bend = the upcoming change in direction.
The Straight = a long loving road with a beautiful yet unknown future.
The Hill = their commitments longevity. It represented their journey towards old age together as when you become old, not that it’s a sudden thing, you are said to be over the hill.
I hope you enjoy the below poem and the images which go with it. I gave Ben & Allie their present a few days ago.
THE BEND IS HERE
THE BEND TO HER
TO EVER AFTER
AFTER IS TWO
HER PLUS YOU
THROUGH & THROUGH
AND ALONG A LONG
YOU BOTH SHALL LIVE
A PROMISED HORIZON
WITH THY VOWS
FOR BETTER FOR WORSE
YOU WILL WALK
YOU WILL WORK
HIM PLUS YOU
OVER UPWARD HILLS
FROM THIS DAY FORWARD
AN ENDLESS ENDEAVOR
AN ENDLESS WILL
TO TOPPLE TOGETHER
THE AGE OLD HILL
“Creativity can solve almost any problem – the creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything.” – George Lois