The New York Times is asking readers to:
Help us document the decade by picking five important moments from the last 10 years — possible subjects include news or political events, culture and entertainment, business, sports or technology.
That got me thinking, and, as I looked back, I'm having difficulty thinking of any earthshaking events that affected me personally enough to contribute. Of course, there were shocks on the large scale, such as the World Trade Center attack, but none of these really impacted me directly. There have been personal sadnesses, such as the death of a friend, but these, thankfully, have been rare.
Much more typical of the decade has been a gentle consistency, a quiet and satisfactory pace of life as my son grew from a young boy to a teenager. Apart from his delightful growth, nothing else in my life has changed that much. I'm in the same workplace as I was 10 years ago, working with the same people, albeit on different tasks. I'm probably more satisfied than ever with what I'm doing.
I'm living in the same house. We're now long-term residents of this neighborhood and have seen many people come and go from the houses around us. The house hasn't changed much either – no great remodeling desire has swept us. It is paid for, mind, and that's a welcome change.
We're richer – I guess that counts for something. But not earning that much more, our wealth has grown through saving and investing.
On the face of it, this all sounds like a very pedestrian existence. However, it doesn't feel that way at all. I find daily life to be ongoing series of small pleasures and deeply felt, rooted, satisfaction. My family is wonderful – I could not find better people to be with anywhere. A weekend photography expedition into town or out to the countryside is completely fulfilling even if I come back with nothing much to show.
That brings me to photography. Digital photography. The past 10 years were recorded, tentatively at first, by digital camera. Some of my earliest shots were sadly lost when a hard drive crashed, but most remain. Taken with a Casio QV-3000EX, my first digital camera. Quite quaintly obsolete now, it was an absolute marvel when I first bought it.
The shot you see here was taken with that camera. It's the Central West End Metrolink station, the one I used to get to work. Still do. But almost everything you see there has been replaced or obscured by new buildings. I'd like to show you the view as it is today, but, thanks to terrorists and the legislation they inspired, it is now forbidden to take photographs on the Metro station without special permission. We live in a less trusting world, alas.