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Time Passages...

To capture this image I sat on the sidewalk of Washington Street where it faces Genessee Street which is one of the main thoroughfares through Buffalo’s East Side. When I first arrived there was still too much light in the sky so I just sat and waited. Like many Buffalonians I have deep family roots on the East Side. Both sides of my family. I can remember one of my dad’s brothers talking about how as young guys they would walk down this street to downtown in the late 1940s and early 50s, just after WWII—which my dad and two or three of his brothers served in—and how exciting the city was back then. A generation before that, one hundred years ago, all four of my grandparents lived on side streets just off this street. My mom’s family had been here for a few generations at the time but my dad’s were brand new to this country. They—all four grandparents—had just survived not only the first WW but also the pandemic of 1918. It was odd to think, as I sat there, that so many of my ancestors had probably walked on or past the very spot in which I was sitting. Then I thought how that was their time and this is ours. The days seem to run into one another. Monday begins, the start of another work week, and then in the blink of an eye it is the weekend again. Where did the week go? As I sat there I also contemplated how today (last night) will soon be yesterday, and now as I type these words it is. In a very short time right now will be yesterday, and then just a memory after that. I’ve truly come to believe that it is not how long we spend on earth but how we spend it. And this is what I was contemplating as I sat waiting for the light in the sky to change while cars zipped past on a beautiful summer’s eve in the midst of a pandemic. (click the image for a large view)

When it's over, I don't want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument. I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.”—from the poem, When Death Comes, by Mary Oliver


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