Saturday, 30 June 2018

Widow's Endorphins: Heroes and Superheroes: Subway Tales for Canada D...

Widow's Endorphins: Heroes and Superheroes: Subway Tales for Canada D...: You never know what you'll see on a Toronto subway ride.  Doctors and researchers step aboard at the Queen's Park subway sta...

Heroes and Superheroes: Subway Tales for Canada Day

You never know what you'll see on a Toronto subway ride.  Doctors and researchers step aboard at the Queen's Park subway station, art students at St. Patrick Station, lawyers and law students at Osgoode Station, tourists at Union Station.  

One day, while I was just passing time, counting the number of commuters using electronic devices (I once counted 125 people texting, talking, or listening to music), the subway car was "invaded" with women dressed up as little schoolgirls in uniforms, and men dressed as super heroes.  I knew they weren't real.  I'm not sure I can say the same for some of them...serious comicon fans take themselves...seriously!

Last Thursday, I rode to a neighbourhood far, far away, in search of a prized cleaning product that zaps away stains, and makes metal gleam so powerfully, you need sunglasses in your kitchen!  Two young girls were seated across from me, playing an elaborate hand game that would make Rock, Paper, Scissors looks like...child's play.  The perfectly groomed woman in black and hot pink, seated beside me, smiled as she turned towards me, saying, "they're having so much fun!" 
It was a handgame neither of us had ever seen before.  When the game picked up speed, and their little hands and arms were flayling in every direction, the lady beside me gave me a tiny nudge with her elbow, the way my Mum would nudge me to get me to look at something wonderfully funny, or very special.  Together, we watched these two incarnations of our former selves - authentic little girls - and smiled.  It was a lovely moment between strangers on the Toronto subway.  When we got off at our subway stop, the lady beside me, took a moment to thank the two girls for being such "great entertainment" on our ride. 

My return trip home was slowed by a minor disruption in subway service...something about power being cut at the Broadview Station.

At that moment, a real life superhero had rescued a blind man from the path of an oncoming subway train.  The man had accidentally walked off the platform, and fallen onto the tracks below.  His 24 year old rescuer heard cries for help and - without thinking of himself - jumped in to save him.  Landscaper, Kyle Busquine says his actions were, "just a very basic and a compassionate, human thing to do".

Meantime, the conductor of a subway train which had been stopped on the other side of the tracks, ran to cut the power, so that no one would be electrocuted stepping onto the tracks.

Two other heroes, arrived on the scene, and helped Busquine hoist the blind man to safety.  Busquine says he's "super thankful they came down in after me, because I would not have been able to do what I did by myself."  He still doesn't know who they were. 

Julie Caniglia, the woman who witnessed it all, posted a photograph of the three heroes on social media.  Kyle Busquine is the man in the animal print t-shirt, in the middle of  Caniglia's photo.  Caniglia says, "we all need a bit of positive reinforcement that there's some great people out there."  The hero of this story says, "I'm happy this story resonates with so many people".  

There are superheroes who take the subway, and there are superheroes who take the subway.

PS: You'll never believe what happened the night of Canada Day!  I was at a daylong Trinidadian/Guyanese/Canadian BBQ with friends who wanted to pick up groceries, and a small bottle of Advil, before heading to another friend's 28th storey home to see the fireworks.  I walked over with them, because I know all the shortcuts in my neighbourhood.  We couldn't find the Advil in any of the grocery aisles, so I went to ask a guy at the checkout.  I waited while he finished serving a customer.  When the customer turned to face me, I thought I recognized her, and as she began walking away, I said, "are you the woman who was on the subway on Thursday, when we watched those two girls?"  She recognized me before I even finished the sentence.  "I wrote about you!" I said.  Her eyes teared up, and she said it was such a special moment on the subway.  We shook hands, introducing ourselves.  Her name is Shirley, and she was heading home to read this blogpost.  I have the BEST life!

Photographs Copyright of Ruth Adams, Widow's Endorphins Photographic Images Incorporated.
Except that amazing photograph of the three heroes of Broadview, taken by Julie Caniglia.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Widow's Endorphins: The Longest Day...Shortest Blogpost!

Widow's Endorphins: The Longest Day...Shortest Blogpost!: This is a short blog on the longest day...because I'm heading back outside to enjoy the Summer sun!  It's officially Summer, ...

The Longest Day...Shortest Blogpost!

This is a short blog on the longest day...because I'm heading back outside to enjoy the Summer sun!  It's officially Summer, here in the Northern Hemisphere!  This being the Summer Solstice, the sun won't set on Toronto until 9:02 tonight.  That's 15 hours, 26 minutes and 31 seconds of daylight!  Adios!  A bientot!  

Photographs Copyright of:  Ruth Adams Widow's Endorphins Photographic Images Incorporated.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Widow's Endorphins: Saying "Yes" to Living!

Widow's Endorphins: Saying "Yes" to Living!: After years of saying, "no" to almost every invitation to do anything, I am at last saying, "yes"!  For the first ...

Saying "Yes" to Living!

After years of saying, "no" to almost every invitation to do anything, I am at last saying, "yes"!  For the first time in years, I have no real responsibilities.  The freedom is exhilerating!  It's as if the skies have opened up, and everything is illuminated by brilliant sunshine!   

I was telling an old friend this weekend, that I feel like a sixteen year old, with the whole world open up to me.  It's all so new to me: undiscovered experiences, and so much to learn!  I don't need a Valedictorian to tell me that the world is mine to discover...I'm already out the door!  

I've been thinking a lot lately, about what I'd really like to do with the next thirty or more years of my life...and where in the world I'd like to be.  Stay in Toronto, where I have many beautiful friends?  It's great to walk into a place, and have everyone call out my name, like Norm on Cheers.  I have meaningful relationships with my TO friends.  They've been there for me, and me for them.  We keep our spirits up, encourage each other, and have formed deep, lasting bonds.  

Maybe, I'll travel the world with my camera, following the Summer season, like a sun worshipping nomadic gypsy?  Or, follow in my Dad's footsteps, and take a luxurious ocean liner across the sea, or set sail for distant shores!  France, Italy, Ireland, Spain, and Greece all call my full capital letters...with an exclamation mark!

My heart and soul have always been on the Westcoast of Canada.  My true home is there, where the mountains meet the sea.  I have longed for the coast for nearly three decades.

I love Vancouver, with it's tree lined streets of cherry blossoms - ribbons of pink from February 'til May!  It is a garden city, with flower and vegetable gardens in yards, and on sundecks in every neighbourhood.  The parks are a floral photographer's vision of paradise!  The city's beaches are home to sun worshippers.  The sailboats and floating homes in the city's safe harbours, the seagulls and eagles soaring in the skies above, the world class restaurants, cafes, and farmers' markets, and wonderful places to walk or cycle, all make Vancouver a very liveable city! 

One of my wonderful Brazilian friends, has taught me the joy of  being spontaneous.  We'll be talking about doing something, and he'll say, "Let's go!"  And I'm there!  Just like that!  For a control freak, who plans, and changes plans, and plans again - this is life changing!

I live with three bright, vibrant, engaging twenty-somethings who go out at ten o'clock at night!  That's usually when I'm coming home from an evening out!  Even when I was a twenty something, I was home by midnight.  There's a whole other time zone out there, that I've yet to discover!

Last week, one of my extraordinary neighbours had free tickets to a ballet dress rehearsal with The National Ballet of Canada.  Normally, I would have thought about all the fuss of getting dressed up, and heading downtown, and just stayed home.  This time, I said, "yes"!  I actually had fun getting dressed up!  We attended an eye opening lecture before the performance...and saw three back to back ballets:  Paz de la Jolla, The Man in Black and Cacti.

I loved the tribute to Johnny Cash, in The Man in Black:  an ensemble of four ballet dancers in cowboy boots (honestly!), stomping, "square dancing", and line dancing, to Johnny Cash singing Lennon and McCartney's In My Life, Canadian Ian Tyson's Four Strong Winds, and Torontonian Gordon Lightfoot's If You Could Read My Mind, among other songs.  It was unlike any ballet I had ever seen, and I loved it! 

Paz de La Jolla, created by New York City Ballet Resident Choreographer and board member, Justin Peck, was a day at the beach!  Peck grew up in California, and quickly rose to fame with the New York City Ballet, a company founded by European George Balanchine, who sought to give his company an American "look and feel" with tall, long-legged, athletic ballerinas (I know this, because I attended the pre-performance lecture).

Peck has not strayed from the late founder's vision.  The dancers wore bright, neon Summer swimsuits, and volleyball beachwear, and their movements recreated the spirit of a day in the sun and surf.  As day turned to night, dancers in opalescent, diaphanous costumes moved like moonlight on the crests of waves. This week, the Toronto Star gave the ballet four stars!

This Summer, I too will be walking along sundrenched beaches, and photographing glorious gardens, as I head to the Westcoast for three wonderful weeks of being with old friends and new, doing things I did as a kid, and things I've never done before.  YES!!!!

Photographs Copyright of:  Ruth Adams, Widow's Endorphins Photographic Images Incorporated.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Widow's Endorphins: Light in the Darkness

Widow's Endorphins: Light in the Darkness: Photographers live in the light.  We play with light.  We fight the light.  Sometimes, we shine the light...on things which are hard to ...