Sunday, September 28, 2008

Leaves...and other New England-ish Thoughts

This is a great way to procrastinate.

Outside my desk window are lots of trees and today I noticed they are starting to turn, right now only about 4 are turning yellow and 2.5 are a little orange. I'm excited! I LOVE fall - even though I'm allergic to fall, it is the most beautiful time of year in New England - spring is a close second.

It is amazing how all of a sudden the leaves just start to go and nearly in a day you can see the color work its way through the leaves. It starts on the edges, some of the trees have yellow middles and just orange edging while others are yellow on the edges and still greenish in the middle and I'm sure within a few days they will be a stunning red/orange. The phenomenon of color in the fall is really unique to this area and I think we sometimes take it for granted because we expect it. At home, fall doesn't bring any drastic change to the color of the landscape until it starts raining and everything turns green again. Mom says it does change smells and she said she can actually tell it's fall this year but to an average visitor - or someone like myself - it's warm and very much alive unlike our own surroundings which are preparing to shut down for the winter. Ok so I'd prefer to not think about that right now.

New England - as small, possibly least friendly, and very separate part of the country - is really and truly beautiful and unique in its history which goes beyond any other cluster of states. The Big E I suppose is a celebration of that history and the aspects which make New England special. Each state has its own trademarks but across the board every state house served maple something, ice cream of some kind, and fudge. And EVERYWHERE there are handmade crafts, potatoes, chowder, and farm animals.
The closest equivalent to the Big E in Marin County (home) is the County Fair and they highlight fresh fruit and veggies, lots of green initiatives, and musical artists plus rides that are free with admission to the fair (unlike a whopping 4 dollars to ride the ferris wheel!). It's a very different feel.

I think New England has a strong sense of tradition, history, and a methodical way of doing things - very rarely is there something *new* introduced to the Big E, even the location of the sales tents is the same year after year and people flock to those gatherings with a sense of dutiful obligation and remembrance of every other year they did the same activities, ate the same food, and saw the same parade. I fall into it as well and I think at times it's almost a sense of pride, ie "I've been coming to the Big E for X years" or "We've had a stand selling Chamois for 25 years!" Interesting though that in other parts of the country there is not the same sense of permanence and appreciation for history that we New Englanders in 'the frozen chosen' as they say, cling to and celebrate.

Now about those leaves...what a distraction they turned out to be!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Through My Lens

So I was attempting to go to sleep early tonight and instead find myself musing...

a few sporadic thoughts I'll eventually pull together:

We talked about what art is in my social studies methods class today - that's a broad concept with no real definitions - but I was thinking about it quietly and just realizing how often art reflects the way we respond to what we see, feel, or think and we respond in a way that helps us come to terms, understand, appreciate, or enjoy. Ok so let's map out the idea there - bear with me for a second.

God creates nature --> God creates man --> Man sees nature and other people and feels certain ways or feels the need to express emotion through creation --> man creates something out of what he sees, thinks, and feels

....and it cycles back to God. cool - simple - basic - but cool.

As for me? I realized that when I'm looking at something through my camera lens, I am capturing something that caught my eye, usually some part of creation or maybe a person, that caused me to stop and appreciate it whether for it's weirdness, beauty, unique design, or the like. My lens is like a small window to who I am, if you go through the pictures I take when I'm just enjoying photography as art, it would say a lot about me as a person and beyond that, how I internalize and express my place in God's creation. My camera is not only my art medium but a form of praise. whoa now that's cool.