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Solitude

Photographer Peter Stockland is struck on his rush hour commute by a figure of stillness and solitude along the canal's edge. 

Topics: Reflections, Sacred Spaces, Photography

Photography can instill, even in the age of incessant rapid fire digital images, the sacred virtue of patience. Standing on a bridge over the Rideau Canal during morning rush hour in downtown Ottawa, I saw this young woman astride her paddle board poling herself north toward the locks. I knew she'd eventually have to turn and come back so I waited, poised above, until she rowed directly below me. On a waterway built as a 19th century response to fear of invasion by Americans, one now plied each summer by lavishly expensive pleasure craft, she became a figure of solitude and peace, leaving the traces of her oar's movement in ephemeral rings on the canal's surface.

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