Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Garten of Kinder!

"Let me tell you something, Toymaker. This nose of mine has never failed me, and if there ARE children here, my friend, you will die!"
-The Child Catcher (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)

I love taking pictures of children. They are so photogenic, and so ....not. At the same time. And, you know, I love a good paradox.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Firmament

 I've never taken pictures of the stars before, but oh, how beautiful they are!
 The Milky Way.
Ursa Major.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


 I have been taking pictures of bugs for a while, and I don't think I'm going to stop anytime soon. I don't know why I am so fascinated by their little, semi-translucent bodies, but I am. They are beautiful.

Monday, September 19, 2011


One of my greatest fears is that my life, upon completion, will have been completely devoid of adventure.

Adventure: An exciting, unusual experience.

Sometimes I balk at the sudden realization that there is a slow, intrepid deletion to my previously unabated magnetism for vivacity. I am, as all living things are, slowly dying. For some reason, most unusual experiences are at first not exciting, but annoying, and I have to talk myself into feeling "adventurous."

What is the difference between an adventure, and a cumbersome, superfluous task? I don't know, but I think it has more to do with the individual than with the task and, for some reason, the number of cats/figurines/other collectible items you own seems to be a part of that difference.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Chance to Find Serenity

There's something about reflective surfaces that I find particularly attractive, and when it rains, the whole world becomes a mirror. I find delight in the serenity of muted colors and gleaming pavement, and umbrellas are beautiful. The softness of the world makes it seem kinder, easier, slower.

Transcendence is not particularly accessible in modern life: I live each day in constant rush, without time, without thought, without really living like my American forethinkers urged me to live. Life is full of impossibilities: mental manipulation of the space time continuum is one I feel at peace with, but the impossible avoidance of farming my time on this planet out to ten thousand small and pointless tasks fills me with panic. Why can't I figure out how to go about the business of living?

Thursday, September 8, 2011


"You must be the change you want to see in the world."
-Mahatma Gandhi

Today when I was walking to work, I heard a woman sobbing.

I turned and saw here, crying passionately on the phone, and I wanted to do something to help her. I hesitated, and then went inside the building, deciding that she would be embarrassed to know that I knew that she was crying. At least, that's how I would feel, so I assumed that's how she would feel, too.

I stopped once inside, and stood there, struggling stupidly with my decision to ignore her. I changed my mind, and went out to help her, but found she was already gone. I felt ashamed.

I pray every day for opportunities to help other people, and I feel happiest when I can do just that. Is that not the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ: finding joy in service to others? I don't always miss the call to action, but so often I miss my chances, and deeply regret my hesitance.

We all have our walls. Once I was boarding a plane in the JFK airport (or rather, the we-are-bugs-in-a-bottle airport), and I saw a man trying to communicate with two flight attendants. He was deaf, and neither of the attendants knew sign language, so the communication was laborious and frustrating for all three. I know sign language. Once again my desire to help struggled against my aversion to embarrassment, and I did not help.

The deepest regret I have of all is when one of my girls at efy was sick, and the health counselors, busy and inexperienced, didn't think that it was serious. Like Miss Clavel, I kept on saying, and feeling, that "something was not right," and I asked them to come visit her multiple times. I did not, however, insist upon further action. I wanted to, but I didn't want to make a "big deal" about it if I was wrong. So I didn't push. On the morning of the last day, she collapsed in the hall, and was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with type I diabetes, a condition I have myself suffered more than ten years. Why did I not insist?

There are many things to regret in a life; these are mine. Of course, they all are excusable, none of the woe or frustration in these situations were ever my fault. The woman this afternoon was a stranger, so was the deaf man, and my efy camper insisted she was fine along with the health counselor, and after all, I did make sure she was seen every day that she felt sick by the health counselor.

I just think I could do better.