Picture Perfect Commute
Reading back over some of my past blog entries, I can see that on 17 November 2005, I claimed to have a perfect commute. There was one tiny detail, an anamoly that made the commute less than perfect, which I left out of the post for editorial and personal reasons.
The building where I worked had some art work in the lobby – three back-lit photographs, blown up and grainy, that showed a figure in various positions in water. A heavy blue tinge prevailed in the photos and it was impossible to ascertain details or pinpoint location. It looked to me like the beach near the Pigeon House on Dublin Bay but someone told me they were actually taken in Iceland. They had a gritty, rushed, cinéma vérité feel to them – with the figure moving deeper into the water until the third photo, where he was up to his neck in it.
These photographs had a visceral effect on me. Whenever I saw them, I felt like I was drowning, that a blue weight was crushing my chest. The photos depressed me, made me feel like escape was futile and impossible, that my days were stringing together in an endless parade of meaninglessness. Yes, three stupid pictures had this effect on me.
The worst part is that I asked several other people about them and no one else had noticed or had felt even remotely the same way. The only person who understood was Peter, when eventually he came into the lobby to see the photographs. (Further proof, as if any were needed, that marrying him was the right choice.)
I'd say that not having to look at those pictures has improved my job and life satisfaction by at least 67%. Moving to the Middle of Nowhere has further improved my quality of living, as has my emancipation from the shackles of Dublin Bus and their magically movable bus stops and whimsical route changes.
I am now able to say emphatically and absolutely that my commute is perfect. I have a seven minute cycle to work. On the way there, I get to see horses, the occasional flock of sheep, and a pheasant or two. I also get to admire the craggy gorse-covered hills that made me fall in love with Cork in the first place. And, best of all, when I get to work, there's no artwork at all.