Tuesday, January 21, 2014

No Color

Or at least very little....

I took this photo right outside of my front door. The only real color that is present is in three distinct areas. The first is the fire hydrant at the bottom left. The second is the stop sign. The third is on the building across the street.

They are splashes, at best. Note that there is really not much else in the picture. The white SUV in the middle of the shot was accidental; I couldn't have planned that if I tried. All I wanted to do was capture the dirty whiteness of the old snow on the ground, the deep gray of the pavement, and the off-gray in the sky. The white building across the street actually jumped out a little more than it usually does because of the lack of color present.

I took this shot because of the conditions of the day. It is roughly 10 degrees Farenheit outside as I write this. Actually, 9 degrees according to the digital thermometer outside my door. There is a major winter storm on the way. Depending on who is providing the forecast, those of us in Southern New Hampshire fortunate enough to live here can expect to see anywhere from a dusting to about 10 inches (25cm for my Canadian and European friends) over the next 24 hours. It is12:45PM as I look at my clock. Snow hasn't started here yet, but I expect to see it anytime.

I am worried a bit about Martha; right now she is in a meeting with a client in Brattleboro, Vermont. She had to cross both Temple Mountain and the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire to get there, not to mention the Connecticut River. I truly hope she gets a head start on the snow. And I don't expect to see her for the next 3-4 hours, depending on what other work she might have to do.

So I found an outlet for my frustration about not being able to start PA school. One of my friends told me about a website that is a hub for online learning, mostly at no cost. So I investigated it, and discovered there were some things I could do to at least keep my mind from withering on the vine. The site is called Coursera. The course offerings are varied as are the institutions offering them. It is all online. And while the courses themselves are provided at no cost, to get what they term "verified certification", or actual proof of completion, there are nominal fees for that if one so chooses to go down that road. I haven't decided about that yet, but we'll see how it goes and whether or not I like what I get out of it. I don't know if any of these can be used for credit or not. That, in itself, doesn't concern me. Right now I have close to 170 hours of undergraduate credit under my belt; I don't think I need any more. But it would be good to know if that is an option. If I become so inclined, I will check that aspect of it out.

I had forgotten how much pleasure I take in writing for its own sake.  I have been told that I write well and that I express myself better than most. While I truly appreciate the compliment (and I really, really do), the real reason I write is because it is an outlet for me. Plus, it is a way that I can organize the absolute spider's web of stuff in my mind by putting it down, looking at what I said, re-arranging it in a way that makes sense, looking at it again, then letting it sit. Sometimes I go back to it, look again, discover that I either misspelled a word or two or repeated a phrase, and fix the errors. It is good exercise for the mind.

In some ways, it is sort of like prayer; once I put whatever is on my mind out there, I can let it go. And I find that if I write to pray rather than speak to pray, it is easier for me to do that. I tried to explain that to a priest friend of mine once, and he understood what I meant, but he is really old school; he didn't agree with me. We ended up having a rather spirited discussion where my point was made by using the following teaching of Jesus as an example: "but when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you" (Matthew 6:6 NAB). While writing for an audience is not the same thing by any means, there is a parallel. If I kept a private journal - sometimes I consider that in addition to writing this, but I don't think it's a good idea simply because it would be duplication of effort - that could be considered a form of writing that is in secret, like prayer. And that was the crux of the discussion. I don't think he will ever agree with me on this, but that's okay; he knows where I stand, and I feel like maybe that is enough. And I will still ask him to hear my confession from time to time...

On that note, and at the risk of running the battery on my keyboard down, I think this is a good place to end it for the day. More to follow on the weather. And think about the lack of color in the photo. It makes me want to see Spring really soon....

No comments: