Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fast Car

Do you remember that Tracy Chapman song, "Fast Car"?

During zero period physical education class my junior year of high school, I grew to despise that song. Our high school's color guard would also practice while we were "exercising" outside of the gym. "Fast Car" was popular then and the color guard selected it for their routine that year. They played it over and over and over again.

When I watched this Yellow Line Metro train pass above the Cherry Blossoms in a blur, I kept hearing that song in my head. The woman in that song wanted to escape her life in that fast car going anywhere. She is like the people on that Metro train passing above the Tidal Basin. The train was filled with people from the Virginia suburbs traveling into the District to go to work or school or another activity that didn't involve enjoying the Cherry Blossoms.

In the hustle and bustle of urban living, it is very easy to not pay attention to the world around us. How many train passengers failed to look up from their newspapers, books, phones or tablets and out the window to see these beautiful trees in their pink glory? And even if they had, the train was traveling so fast, they might have missed it completely anyway.

One of the best life benefits of photography is that it forces us to slow down and focus. Hopefully by pausing with our cameras to capture a life moment, we will also get the opportunity to see the world in an entirely new way and chose to stay instead of leave in a fast car.

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