Me, My Habit & The Law

By: pbcmedia

Feb 11 2009

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Aging, anxiety, Art, Creativity, Trucks and Trains


Focal Length:35mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 5D

It is new to me.

A habit that is not boring or bad for me.

At 64, I’ve had my flings with habits of youth, middle age, and now, what shall we call them, habits of the senior years?  Self improvement programs inevitably talk about the necessity of good habits.  Some speculate they can take as little as three weeks to form.  I generally give up on self improvement habits after a few days; my resistance habit is formidable.

But, fear has been the motivator of my newest habit, the creative habit.

It is simple, really: scare the bejesus out of me and out I go every day to try and calm my nerves.

The world financial spiral effectively did that in mid September and continues it’s knife throwing ways right through today’s 5% loss in the market.

Each day,  I now propel myself somewhere in my town or neighboring towns, usually in early morning or toward twilight, to photograph something, anything. It steadies my nerves at the same time it fills up hard drives.

Lately, I’ve developed the habit of photographing trains.

Yesterday, near a remote railway crossing at the end of a narrow road leading to a town storage facility, I waited for the train, standing near my headlights, with the camera over my shoulder.   A police car came over the crossing and slowed to a stop.  The officer lowered his window and asked, “Everything OK, here?”

“Oh, I just love trains.  I’m waiting for the 4 o’clock.”

He smiled broadly and as the window began rising he said, “Well, stay safe now.”

I told my niece this story and she suggested that when he asked if everything was Ok, I might have joked, “Oh, do you mean the body in the trunk?”

I laughed and imagined his response.   He would have gotten out of the car, of course.  Maybe he would have called for back-up?  He’d walk slowly over toward my car and certainly, without doubt, would ask me:
“Would you please pop the trunk,  Ma’am?”

Only to reveal its contents:  my camera bag—“A body of possibilities, the tools of a creative habit,”  I’d say to the officer in my no nonsense Sgt. Joe Friday, “Dragnet” sorta way.  “This is how I stay safe these days.”

©Pat Coakley 2009


Click HERE to see who participated in the SAPCC’s theme this week: Habit

Plus, do click on the Sgt. Joe Friday Dragnet link.  Hilarious.  This was THE  cop show of the 50’s!!

16 comments on “Me, My Habit & The Law”

  1. ha ha this is great, you really have it all here, just great and i love the way your writing takes turns in the road as well, the picture is like that too, a juxtaposition of emphasis, many ways to see within and outside of the picture (and the yellow line becomes like a vertical) great work, pat, thank you

  2. I enjoyed reading it, like the way you incorporated humour in the subject.

  3. This shot is beautiful. I love the straight yellow line down the middle and the flash of the train’s headlights next to it. Stunning. Simply stunning.
    As for the rest, well, thank heavens for creativity and the bonus part of that is shots like this one.

    • Well, I have to do something and I’m becoming known around town now, as “that woman with the camera”…I just disturbed someone who was ice fishing! He walked all the way back to shore to see why I was standing next to his truck! Good God…He looked like he was walking on water because everything, including the pond is melting!

  4. Love the shot. The yellow line is striking. I thought from the photo that “The Law” was in reference to you getting stopped for crossing the yellow line. After reading the story, I am surprised the officer was so nice. You could have been a terrorist :)

    • Conni, I think my town is small enough that thoughts of terrorists aren’t the first thing thought of…We have folks, sort of town characters, who walk up and down, up and down, the streets. I think I’m falling more into that category!

  5. For some reason, all I kept hearing as I read this post was Pee Wee Herman’s line from his Big Adventure . . . “The LAW!”

  6. Nice shot. I’ve got a real soft spot for the combination of chrome yellow and black.

    By the way, don’t joke around with the police by saying what you think are funny things.

    I was once with a friend in her car when we got pulled over for having an out of date registration sticker by a policeman walking down the street who had just bought his lunch. The cop was a friendly enough guy (even though he was giving us a ticket) and I noticed that he was having trouble holding all his stuff as he was trying to write up his citation. We all seemed to be getting along until I offered to help him out by saying, “here, I’ll hold your gun for you”.

    It went down like a fart in a elevator.

  7. Razz, I love this color combo, too. I’ve been trying to think of other examples but have come up blank. Don’t worry, I’m a smile, I’ll shine your shoes sort of girl when the Law shows up. But, seriously, “Here, I’ll hold your gun for you”? Only you.

  8. you shoud have been arrested immediatly !!

  9. hey, a real story :D Once we were going to Latvia with my father and police stoped us. “What do you have in your car?” policeman asked. “A bomb” my father tried a joke. What do you think? Policeman called for a back up immediately. He didn’t even want to listen that it was only a joke. We were free to go just after one hour and my fathers car was checked with police dogs. pffff
    So be careful what you say :D
    By the way it’s a great picture.

  10. Excellent detail! Gonna miss your take on these themes every week but I guess I’ll just have to settle with your other daily brilliant posts.

  11. NKGee, jail time? Moi?

    Palpinao, Oh, that is quite a story!! I shall never joke with a policeman, NEVER.

    Russ: Thanks and I hope you do come and visit from time to time and post yourself a few more well lit chocolates!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: