Fotoeins Fotografie

faces of home & place-story

Posts from the ‘North America’ category

Spring light in Seattle and over the Salish Sea (LAPC)

Above/featured: “Aurora and Mercer” – 4 Mar 2020 (X70).

A favourite place is Seattle, an American city in Washington state, only 2 to 3 hours by car from Vancouver, Canada. For two metropolitan regions close by proximity, their respective evolutions have created very different cities over time. I present below 12 places around Seattle in spring. In this part of the world, there’s every chance for overcast skies and showers, but I assure you of one thing: the light is very good when the sun is out. And when there’s abundant light, I’m all about the superposition of light, shadow, construction, and person.


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The place where I died again

The mind’s eye slowly emerges, hanging over my shoulder for hours after the official declaration at 850pm.

With the nurses’ gentle request, I comply without a word, and I sign the paperwork.

I walk back into the hospital room where she lies. The only sounds are from her neighbour, another patient in another bed, their laboured breathing as sign of life.

I gaze out the window to the nighttime lights of the city. From a great height, I cannot see individuals, but I see them in motion on the streets, and alive in the lights of their houses.

At her bedside, I hold her hand, cool to the touch. I place my other hand on her forehead: there’s a little warmth as I smooth her skin with my thumb. Her eyes are closed, but there’s no breath or acknowledgement. When I close my eyes, the dream doesn’t go away, and ashes begin to fall. I lean down next to her ear, and whisper quiet words at the close.

I palm her cheek one final time, as I’ve done over the last days and weeks.

At the doorway, I turn around and look at her still body one last time. I will not see my mother again until the funeral.

I thank the nurses, and make my way out of the Palliative Care Unit. To the elevators. To the lobby. Out into the cold night. Inside the car, my hands are locked frozen onto the wheel, and I begin to shake with tremors. I let the jolt and shock pass through, and with the recall of past experience, I glide over giant waves of grief.

For the first time, I enter the family house without either parent. It’s surreal and unsettling.

From 1976, this house has been a busy noisy compact home for us; I remember us as kids racing to the top of the stairs to claim our very own bedroom.

A family of us: once at 4, now at 2.

Alone now, the walls echo with sounds from the floors, wood frame, and the pipes. I ascend the stairs in the dark, navigating the upper curve from memory. I shuffle to the parents’ bedroom. With a flick of the switch, the unmade bed is in the same final state, when the paramedics moved her into the waiting ambulance earlier that day.

In less than 12 hours from house to hospital, she slipped away, peacefully and quietly into the aether.

With my parents’ passing, I fulfilled my promise to them. There’d been new beginnings, layered with new understanding and sprinkles of forgiveness along the way. I was granted an extra-time bonus in years: a son to his parents, and a parent for his Mom and Dad.

And it is here, I died twice, in the city of Vancouver.

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My Seattle: NOAA Art Walk

Above/featured: On the Art Walk trail.

In northeast Seattle, the NOAA Art Walk is contained fully within the campus of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Western Regional Center (NOAA WRC), located at Sand Point next to Magnuson Park. Initially, I’d intended only to visit one sculpture from which a “fairly successful” local band got its name. I explored the entirety of the Art Walk on a breezy sunny early-spring morning for an easy peaceful walk on a trail hugging Lake Washington’s shoreline. Over a two- to three-hour period, I encountered only a handful of other visitors, some of whom may have been NOAA staff.


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My Seattle: 10 S-spots, free of charge

In thinking about things to do for free in Seattle, I thought about some of the city’s sights labelled with the letter ‘S’. There’s plenty of alliteration to follow.

I could have listed two obvious choices with the Space Needle and the Smith Tower. They are free to admire from the ground, but both require an admission charge to enter and reach the top of each respective structure for sweeping views of the city.

Here below are other arts and culture spots in Seattle that don’t cost a penny to visit or see; all locations are easily accessible with public transport.


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Fotoeins Friday in the Bahamas: high luxury

Deep from the archives:

People live where tourists flock. As the image shows, the Bahamaian city of Nassau sees its fair share of wealthy people, as exhibited by the rental of this “Yes Dear” 18-metre (58-foot) catamaran yacht, complete with chartered crew. The starting rate begins at 20-thousand dollars for 2 passengers. Behind are the towers of the massive Atlantis casino and hotel complex. Given the relative isolation of these islands off the Florida coast, trying to reconcile what residents do for work versus the flow of offshore capital isn’t an obvious task.

I visited friends for a month in The Bahamas during my year-long RTW. From Nassau’s Eastern Parade, near the decent resto The Green Parrot, I made the image above on 18 May 2012 with a Canon EOS450D/Rebel XSi and the following settings: 1/200-sec, f/11, ISO100, and 34mm focal length (54mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-isA.

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