As I’ve been backing up my online photo archives, I’ve been stumbling upon many images that deserve longer lingering than I can offer right here and right now. This week I’ve been doing and thinking of too many different things. The result has been the least sleep I’ve gotten in a while. The photos pull me into moments from the past yet in the present I am torn over where to focus my efforts.
It’s like I’ve fallen into an alternate reality that’s akin to grocery shopping with a bare list that I’ve forgotten to fish out of my pocket until I get home and find that I have nothing to show for the trip but junk food, pop, three pounds of meat and taco fixings (which, unfortunately, happens to be exactly what I bought at the store today). Should I focus more on photography or blogging? Should I start a new blog on my spirituality or continue to incorporate that content here? Are these hobbies worth my time or do they just put distance between me and more immediate concerns, like my family and my job?
I used to live in this scattered mental state all the time. I’ve stress myself out to the point I felt unable to start any of the dozen things I’d thought of doing that day, and then I’d stay up late into the night. Then I’d try to calm myself by listening to loud music on headphones and chain smoking until the birds would start singing outside.
I think the photo archive project collided with PMS to revive a mood I’d rather never returned. That’s one of the unpleasant surprises of perimenopause. Every cycle has the potential for dark variants of PMS. Maybe next month I’ll have a more benign cycle and just become briefly preoccupied with learning more about the rise and fall of avocado-colored appliances.
Anyway, the above picture hails from a more pleasant day, an afternoon in June of 2008 when I met up with my now-husband for a photo walk at a local park. I used a Fuji Finepix S5700 back then. It was a point-and-shoot camera but a real workhouse. I wish I still had it. I think I dropped it and broke the display screen not long after that day.
When I think of that hot June day and the newness of my relationship with my husband, the song “Wild Honey” by U2 comes to mind. From the beginning, he seemed to be someone I’d known for a very long time. On that day in the park, I mentioned for the first time where my family lived during the 80s, and he said to me, “You lived there for a long time, didn’t you?”
I hadn’t yet mentioned to him how long we lived there.
The weather is hot yet dreary today. It is possible that we may add to our coffers of rainfall once again. We’ve had entirely too much rain over the past two months (17 inches, according to the Lima News).
This morning I wore my oldest pair of shoes and headed toward one of the soggy parks. The light was unreliable at best. I took some B&W photos, too, but many of those turned out blurry because I forgot to adjust the ISO for the dim light in the forest. Despite this issue, I did find a few of the B&W worth posting on this blog.
By the way, have any of you had luck with using a Facebook page for your blog? I don’t do much with mine, but I noticed there’s lots of features now for making posts, like easy slideshow videos and “Notes” which can incorporate text, photos and video. There’s also some ambitious-looking carousel post which can have links to multiple destinations. This makes me curious as to why Facebook hasn’t harnessed their publishing assets to create the go-to destination for bloggers. It’s like they intentionally left room in the online world for platforms like WordPress and the like.
Over the past weekend, my daughter and I stopped at a graduation party for one of her classmates. The event was a bittersweet reminder that we will be celebrating that same milestone in a year. If you, dear reader, happen to be the parent of a child much younger than mine, cherish all the moments of childhood, no matter how maddening they may prove to be. Pay no heed to the fact that moments can be held as about as well as water in bare hands.
The party was held at a local park I hadn’t visited before. The day was unexpectedly hot, but we braved the heat for a quick stroll along the new walking trails. In all three pictures, she is ahead of me. As she travels into a country that seems undiscovered to her, she walks in a land I remember from the days of my early adulthood. While we walked in a place that looked new to us, I know I was once in a place so similar to the one she inhabits.
Today is a vacation day for me because my daughter is taking the ACT. The test has become a Ohio graduation requirement for most high school students, so this is her chance to take it with a couple bonuses attached: no testing fee and a day excused from regular classes. She didn’t seem nervous at all about it, perhaps because this is actually her second time taking the test. I’m not sure which post-graduation goals she has in mind at this point (she will graduate next May). Her scores on standardized tests are consistently great, but her enthusiasm for school itself is lacking. She has mild autism and has had a few too many negative interludes with her classmates over the years, so at least there’s a rational reason why she doesn’t like traditional school much. She’s finishing school in an IT program at a local vocational high school, a setting which has been much more tolerable for her.
Her test left me free for the morning, so I took a walk around my neighborhood with camera in hand. There’s work crews on several blocks replacing gas lines, so I focused on some of the sights on the margin of our subdivision.
Everything was still frozen, but spring-worthy sunlight lit up the dormant plants nicely.
I’ve encountered another passage of Scripture that really resonates for me, 1 Corinthians 3:18-19 (quote from Good News Bible): “No one should fool himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise by this world’s standards, he should become a fool, in order to be really wise. For what this world considers to be wisdom is nonsense in God’s sight.”
There is so much to contemplate in this passage. For instance, am I drawn to these words in humility or because of those times in life when it seemed I was the lone (and sometimes silent) voice of reason? Lately I’ve become increasingly disillusioned by some of the comments I see on social media regarding local news stories. It seems like harsh judgment has become the reigning paradigm in such comments. If the authors of such comments could create a reality to their liking, we’d live in a world where children are never spared the rod unless they act like perfect servants, where all defendants, whose guilt is a foregone conclusion, should go straight from arrest to prison, where welfare no longer exists, and everything is seasoned with a heaping portion of capital punishment.
Then again, who am I to judge these people? I don’t bother to present an opposing viewpoint because I’ve seen dissenting opinions quashed several times over the years. It’s so hard for me to tell who is foolish in this situation: the harsh local pundits, people like me for letting them steamroll local forums unopposed, or the people who created essentially unmoderated forums?
The answer is likely to be something I can’t imagine, as least not yet.