Oh universe, I so enjoy when you toy with me like this.
My 500th post falls in the Month of May. Amusing.
So, what to write on this momentous occasion? Well, I was planning a Part 2 on yesterday’s post, but I guess I’ll hold that for now and instead plot my thoughts on my upcoming trip to the 500 instead.
Seems more appropriate.
Truthfully, more than anything lately, as I prepare for my trip, I’ve once again been thinking of Dan.
It’s still strange to me that someone I was barely acquainted with had such a monumental impact on my life. But he did. And still does. Now, however, I’m finding myself smiling more when I think of him.
He was so easy to make fun of. The hair, the teeth, the shoes!! But it was always light-hearted because he himself was so self-effacing! Hell, he usually beat you to the punchline!
In all the years being around him, I never saw him angry, or grumpy.
He never shied away from a conversation or a photo.
Actually, my very last photo of him, which I took in Baltimore, he looked directly at me (my lens), and gave a thumbs up and a grin. So Dan.
Just two weeks ago, in the middle of the night, in a weird bout of insomnia, I sat and watched the entire Vegas race again. Then I read article after article, and threads on various forums and blogs, virtually reliving it, and trying, for some reason, to absorb every possible detail I could.
It’s like I’m still trying to find answers, but I don’t know what the question is.
I don’t want this trip to be maudlin. Maybe that’s why I’m overloading now. I don’t want to be sad (which of course is inevitable) I want to go and remember and celebrate the joy that Dan felt being at Indy, and specifically on that day a year ago.
Wow… so much has changed since last year. That just hit me right now.
Changes for me. Changes for the people I was with last year. Changes for the series.
Such a little word, with such big, scary consequences sometimes.
anyway, what was I talking about? oh ya, Joy.
I was so lucky last year. I had amazing access (for which I am always grateful) and managed to be bequeathed one of the final spots on the photographers stand in Victory Circle.
I was there when Dan’s car rolled in, against all odds, the little team that could.
There were tears, and cheers, and smiles and laughter.
It was such a genuine celebration of everything that is so good and powerful about this sport I have such a love/hate relationship with.
It’s funny, when I look back through those pictures, I don’t just look at Dan, but I take my time and focus in on all of the faces in the background.
It’s like when I second shoot on weddings. I don’t watch the bride walk down the isle. I watch the groom watching the bride walk down the isle. Then I watch the mom of the groom, watching the groom watch his bride walk down the isle.
Those are the things I point out to people when they ask me about racing, or weddings, or photography, and why I am so passionate about all of those things.
Those wonderful, unabashed, unaware they’re being watched, expressions.
Just this week, through a friend, I was again reminded how short and cruel life can be, and how quickly the rug can be pulled out from underneath you without any warning.
It’s so important to Carpe Diem!
Seize the day!
Be in the moment now.
Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Now.
Do the things, and surround yourself with the people, that bring you the most Joy.
So yes, I am packing up my rental car 2 weeks from today, and heading out on a “journey of Joy”, where I will drive with the windows down, and listen and sing along loudly to cheezy music, and think, and stop along the way to write, and rant, and visit friends, and eat great food, and laugh, and laugh, and LAUGH, and cry, and remember, and celebrate, and move forward to seize another day. And another. And another. Because I can.
And bookending all of that? Not one but TWO races.
How lucky am I?
hmmm… maybe that was the question I was seeking an answer to all along…
Thanks Dan ♥