Grey day

I woke up to overcast skies this morning. The sun is still hiding from me. I think the sun came out yesterday, but I slept for most of the day. I feel guilty when I waste weekend days by getting up at noon and then taking an extended nap at 2:00. I’m only cheating myself when I do that.

This is just the beginning of the greyness. This is the start of fall. This is when the sun doesn’t shine as much as I need it to, and cooler days begin to outnumber warmer ones.

I don’t like this time of year, and I make it worse on myself by actively not liking it. Why can’t I just celebrate the changes that autumn brings like so many poets and artists are wont to do.

Summer is gone, and all I want to do is wait and wait for spring. I want to skip the rain-soaked, rotting leaves. I want to be jacketless, short-sleeved, barefoot. I would be happy with 100 degrees, and blinding sun, and melting asphalt streets.

But this is what I have, and this is where I am. I’m in Indiana, not Southern California. I should be somewhere else.

Maybe life would look better if I didn’t waste my days. Or, what if I let go of the notion that a day can be wasted?

There’s probably some profound metaphor here that I’m just not seeing. Something about change, and light, and sleeping the day away like the trees. Yes, the trees are sleeping.

The problem is that I’m not a tree.

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A panther for an eagle

Dreamed last night

no, this morning

Dad had an eagle in the basement

but it was a panther

It was a panther with beautiful markings on its fur

How can one mistake an panther for an eagle?

Panther

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t feel like writing tonight, but I’m doing it. I’m realizing that I have too many irons in too many fires. My focus should be on getting more physically fit, but I have this ambition to get a masters degree, so I have to prepare for the stupid GRE. I just don’t know if I can do it.

The panther in my dream was lovable and gentle. Was it there to tell me to be gentle with myself?  I found some information about having a panther as your totem animal on this page, http://www.whats-your-sign.com/panther-animal-totem.html. It said that the panther is a powerful, protective presence. Maybe I dreamed it to protect me from me.

Mini meltdown before going down that path

I’ve mentioned here before that I need a degree that is not a dance degree so I can get a full-time job as something other than a clerical worker.  I have begun filling out the application for the Masters program in Instructional Systems Technology at IU.  I am registered to take the GRE in December.  It would seem that my ducks are lining up nicely.

Today I decided to start thinking about preparing for the GRE. I’ve never had to take it. I’ve made a point of avoiding programs that required it. Today I did a Google search for GRE preparation resources, and I came across a site that had some sample questions for the quantitative part of the exam.  I had been telling myself that I can do the math part of the GRE.  It might be a struggle, but I can do it. After today I’m not so sure. After attempting to understand those sample questions I had a mini meltdown. I think I was nearing an actual panic attack.

So then I decided to leap to the conclusion that I cannot do well enough on the test to get into the program. I then decided that I will never be able to get a full-time job that I enjoy. I thought that I might as well just give up on any and all of my dreams.

Then I thought, I could just get a certificate in Instructional Systems  Technology.  I would learn a lot, it would take less time, it would cost less money, and I wouldn’t need the GRE. Would that look as good on my resume? It would not. Sounds like a bit of a cop-out to me. Besides, I really want to delve deeply into the discipline. I want to find a way to make a mark. I want to be a serious scholar. I need to get over my fear of math. I need to believe in myself.

After my little freak out episode, I took Dad to campus so he could take some pictures. I managed to take a few pictures while worrying about my future. Here’s one I took that seems to symbolize the path I’m travelling to get to my distant future.

Wooded path on IUB campus.

The long path to I’m not sure what.

Translucent Daisy

This morning I have decided to open a Word document and start typing. I look at the words on the screen and feel that there is some kind of magic here. Then I start thinking about what to write. I could write about magic and what I think magic is. I could, but I won’t, because that would be too challenging.

I wrote something yesterday that might have been a poem. It was structured like a poem, and it had that rhythm that my poetry usually carries.

I’m at a medical facility this morning—my husband is having a minor surgery.

Sidebar: I need to look into the use hyphens, em dashes, and other such devices.

Anyway, there was a watercolor (or so I thought), on the wall in the room where they prepped him for the surgery. It was of flowers. I can’t remember what kind of flowers, I think maybe daffodils, something purple (lilies?), and daisies. I recognized the picture as a watercolor upon seeing it from the chair I was sitting in, about four feet away. When I went to view it up-close, it looked like a photograph. Everything looked real and quite crisp. The daisies in the picture seemed to be hiding in the background, peeking out from behind the bigger, bolder flowers. One daisy was translucent. It looked as if it might have been a top layer in a Photoshop image with its opacity set to 60 or 70 percent.

That got me thinking about working on my digital art skills. I could master Photoshop to create the kind of art that I want to create. Hey, a realistic goal! I can make art without having good drawing skills! I would still like to improve my drawing acumen.

But wait! I looked up the artist (Randall Shedd), to find out more about him. Turns out he does photography. That picture was a photograph. Learn more about him here if you’re interested.

Now I could talk about the annoying guy who also had a procedure done here today. He was in his 20s, loud, and seemed to need to be the center of attention. I could talk about his girlfriend and their sometimes loud baby. I won’t talk about those things. This post is long enough.

I was inspired, so I opened Photoshop and did this:

Digital painting land and sky.

This Thistle

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This morning was wet, warm, soft, and gray.
I parked in the lot adjacent to the torn-down buildings and climbed out of the car with my purse, lunch bag, and iPad bag slung over my shoulder and across my chest. My iPhone was nested in the back pocket of my jeans, earbuds plugged in and stuck in my ears.

I began my walk to the CIB (IU’s Cyber Infrastructure Building), the place I work. I stepped from pavement, to grass, to concrete, to the dirt that used to be under the recently demolished Wrubel Computing Center (a place that I used to work).

I saw this dying thistle in the tall native grass that adorns the sides of the Data Center building. It was standing solitary among its browning surroundings.

I don’t know if this thistle was planted intentionally by an IU groundskeeper, or is the product of some wayward seed. Perhaps a bird, hoping to contribute to the landscape, brought this thistle here.

In any case, I saw it and was beguiled by its strange beauty. I say strange because this thistle’s beauty was not conventional. It appears to be dying, breathing its last few breaths of the summer. We’re not supposed to see beauty in death, but isn’t death a part of the cycle of life that we claim is so beautiful?

So I stopped and took some iPhone photos. For the first, I was standing too close. I edged closer and snapped another. I tried two more from different angles. The second shot, the best shot, is the one you see here. I think that the grayness of the morning enhanced the purple; or is it lavender or some other color?

The photo doesn’t begin to do the thistle justice. Seeing it with my own eyes evoked emotion, brought me closer to the infinite. Yes, I really do believe that. But the photo is all I have. My memory of those moments I spent looking at this thistle are fading. They fade with every passing second.

Tomorrow, this source of enchantment will be different. I may take a different path so as not to see it and face disappointment. I may pass it again and find it to be even more beautiful. I may encounter a new source of enchantment to photograph. Or I may walk all the way to the CIB with my head down, carefully watching my steps so as not to get tripped by those ever changing surfaces.