Saturday, September 12, 2015

From A Distance



Three times in the past five weeks, I gave a power point presentation on my trip to Vietnam this past July. It was ALL pictures. Let me state plainly two things about my picture taking skills. First, I have greatly improved since I bought my first camera seven years ago. Secondly, I am still not very good! This is from August 7, 2008. 

For the first time in my life, I got sent home from school this week. On Tuesday morning, Dr. Lacey, our Upper School Administrator, told me to go home and sleep. I put up some weak resistance but after a few hours, came back to the apartment and slept. My body is adjusting and not just to sleep. My diet completely changed for a month during my trips to Honduras and China. So, too, did my workout regimen. On Monday night, I ran for the first time in almost three weeks and the next morning, hit the weight room after that same aforementioned absence. I was blessed by the fact I never was sick on either mission and a little jet/food/workout lag is a small price to pay for an unbelievable summer.

This morning, I spent an hour in my classroom with Karen Keese. Karen, our art instructor at Westbury Christian, has been my mentor in learning how to use my new camera. Karen downloaded the pictures from the CANON PowerShot SX100 15 onto my new school computer and she took her first look at my digital memories of Asia. During my two trips, the shutter was snapped 2732 times. Many of the pictures were deleted the day of their birth as I tried to keep the photos on the memory card under one thousand. As we viewed my work, she made the point that often, shots look good when seen on the little screen on the camera but when viewed on the much larger computer monitor, they are revealed to be out of focus and slightly blurry. This afternoon, I downloaded my memory card onto my home computer and inspected each picture. As I did so, I saw the accuracy of Karen's statement. A number of the pictures I perceived as being quality at the time were revealed to be flawed while some I thought were poor actually turned out to be quite good. As I finished looking with the naked eye at what I had watched the first time through a Canon camera, I found I had deleted roughly one hundred more images and ended with a much clearer picture of my eighteen day adventure.

Life tends to mirror my experience with the camera. One year ago, my family was dealing with the immediate issues dealing with the impact of my father's stroke and its implications for my mother. There were times we felt overwhelmed and unsure of where the next step, the next decision would lead our family. Developments I saw as problems turned into blessings as seen from the vantage point of the future. I learned that just as with the camera lens, first glances can be deceptive. Time and distance tend to clarify and define the events that disrupt our tranquility. The Lord has blessed us with the gift of reflection to help sort out the confusion of life. One year ago today, Dad walked three hundred steps in his rehab, the most since his stroke six days previous. A year in the future, I realize he is walking with God. Three hundred sixty-five days ago, I was sad for my father. Now, I'm overjoyed. The picture is now in focus.


Applicable quote of the day:
"A good snapshot stops a moment from running away."
Eudora Welty


God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1

www.hawleybooks.com
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

3 comments:

Family fun said...

steve,
i was amused as i read your post! it's funny how we see things; amazing though how well God predicts all this for us "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." I Corinthians 12:12

God blesses us so much and yet we often are so worried because of the dark vision we are able to see with.

As I read your post, I was laughing thinking about how your dad was probably watching you as you enjoyed your travels and rejoiced in the fact of your being able to be there and yet struggling with things for the first time like the digital camera!

enjoy the weekend and get some much needed rest and nourishment!

Cindy said...

Steve,
I have learned that the older I get the more I need to listen to what my body is saying.
Have you ever tried wearing glasses to focus better when you are taking the pictures,LOL. You do know our eye sight needs extra help over 50.
Thank-you for the reminder about your daddy, it helped me remember that my Dad too is with the Lord happy and having a great time with the other angels.
Get the rest you need and I am glad you were sent home from school.

JT said...

All of us have memories. A camera and some pictures helps us recall them. God bless you.