Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fine Art Friday

Deborah Dewit Marchant

This neat stack of books with the moon in the background and roots (at least that is what it looks like to me) in the foreground is appropriately entitled "Ideas," if my stream of thought is correct. The books produce roots (thoughts) which grow into trees (ideas). Notice how the thickest root proceeds from the thickest book?

How the moon plays into this, I don't know. Maybe ideas develop in the darkness, as in the unknown and unforeseeable?

What are your thoughts?

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Life would be much easier for me if I would only follow the textbook. You know, it's simple. Just a textbook. Nothing else.

But I've never been able to do that. Ever. Even when I was a high school student teaching a Sunday School class for eight year olds, I remember supplementing the lesson to the point of re-doing the entire thing. Why, I don't know. Do I think I know better, or more, than the authors? No, not really. It is just something inside me that pushes me to do it. Maybe I want to make it my own.

Whatever it is, the task I choose is not simple. (Is today's Fine Art Friday selection symbolic here? I definitely develop lots of ideas from the stack of books I'm trying to distill.) And the result is lots of time being consumed, lots of books and materials scattered here and yon, and a dose of occasional frustration thrown in with a few comments of negativity about the whole effort. (I won't be able to see any sprouts of growth from this cultivation, if that even occurs, until I get into the thick of school. I really do feel like I'm working by the light of the moon and walking down a poorly lighted path sometimes.)

But, after a break---a night's sleep, the morning walk, a Teaching Company lecture, a talk with myself, or simply a few minutes' relief for physical necessities---and I'm right back at it. And today is no different.

The week is too quickly ending which means the start of implementing "the best laid plans of mice and men" is only weeks away.

Even though I am eagerly looking forward to this new event and season in my life, I am beginning to realize some things that I must give up and will miss. I will most miss my leisurely spent early morning reading time. Those often three hours will have to be minimized because I do not plan to give them up. So, adjustments will need to be made, and if not made in a conscious fashion, all morning efforts will be lost, I'm afraid. My reading list that guides my efforts needs changing. One thing I really hate to do is change a well-laid plan. Even though rearrangements and amendments have changed my 2007 reading plan, this one must be overhauled.

Another activity that I need to deal with is my morning walks. I need those walks for health of body and mind. And I know that early morning is the best time for me. Afternoons might work for some, but I know myself too well and will never been able to squeeze in an hour's walk prior to dinnertime. So a thought came to me this morning. The Weight-Watchers leader once said that when she made it her goal to lose weight, she began walking, and she walked in all kinds of weather, and whether it was light or dark. She walked. Well, I don't think I'll walk in the rain with an umbrella; I'll just stick in a Leslie Sansone!

But walking in the dark? During the school year, the time that I would have to early-morning-walk would be nighttime-dark. The WW lady said she used a flashlight. In a professionally designed suburban housing community, that would work. But not out here in the country where I live with its country roads sans sidewalks. Well, maybe. Why not?

Since I try to carry weights as I walk, holding a flashlight will not work. But one of those weird-looking-when-you-wear-it contraptions that my boys have to wear when they go camping would be absolutely perfect. And even though they are so not-fashionable(!), it's dark, right? No one will see how utterly ridiculous it looks. I think that solves my problem. The goal is for me to be able to see well and for those early morning truck and car drivers to see me. This will work, I do believe. (Inner excited thrill!)

Usually I don't have trouble walking in the cold. When January and February hits,
Leslie might have to do, otherwise the fresh air, the solitude, the Teaching Company lectures will invigorate me to begin the day.

Another piece of the plan is the timetable. I will need to leave the house at 7 a.m. to be at work twenty minutes before the school day
begins for teachers. That means the walk-in-the-dark begins at 5:10 a.m. And that means my morning reading time will be reduced to about an hour.
Ah, the realities of the working career.

Now that I've worked out all this, laying some best plans of mice and men, it will be interesting to see how much of it changes. I'm sure much will. And change is difficult for this being.

For now, it's back to the sweathouse.


Dana said...

That picture is a little scary to me....

Sounds like you have a lot going on in your head. As much as I need to walk, I don't walk alone in the dark.

Dana in GA

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I wonder if the artist was showing the books by the light of the moon because the colors are so different (than say...noonish). Regardless, it is beautiful.

I can't walk on our country roads, even my son won't walk on them. We've both been nearly hit too many times!

Ann said...

Good for you for working out the problem of your walks. I'm with you -- that first-thing-in-the-morning exercise (I jog with my dogs) is essential to having a good day. I sure couldn't get out as early as you, though, so I admire that tenacity. I'm glad I live the slower-paced life of a country parson!

Abiding said...

I walk in the dark all the time. Usually at night. And even though we are not out in the country I do have to dodge snakes, loose dogs and the occassional possum.

I can also relate to not being able to follow a curriculum. I think I want to weave in my passion and there is something so dull and boring about doing what someone tells me. (Rebellious? Moi?) I always choose the more difficult route, too, but I am working on it for this next year. I am almost sold on using Understanding the Times for my worldview class and I am only considering supplementing with ONE book. :)

I enjoy reading about how you are considering your changes. Thinking it through, coming up with creative solutions. It's encouraging to me for some reason. Maybe because I can relate to what you are writing so well.

DebD said...

When I first saw this picture I thought of insomnia and the tangle of thoughts that brings and how reading a book can bring back blessed sleep. But then I saw the title and your description. I think you are right.

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