Alexandra Comes to Visit.

Well, my darling, fountain hopping, SIP partnering, parking lot sleeping, adventure companioning, California visiting, conversation having, future flatmate, friend Alexandra Jane just left me. She was here for 10 days. These were ten of the most active days I have had in a very, very long time. It was magnificent. Besides daily walks and challenging ourselves to not drive whenever we were able (gas is freaking $4.65), we biked 15 hilly miles to the beach on bikes that were too big for us one day, which now seems like nothing in comparison to our greatest feat--climbing half dome in Yosemite. Check out the photos from the trip, and then stay tuned for my thoughts on it, unless the pictures are enough, in which case, don't stay tuned.

Its hard not to have a lot of thoughts when you are in the beauty of God's creation. So I am going to limit myself to three major points. Perhaps I'll allow myself more later.
1. Part of the reason thought life is abundant in the mountains, on the beach, or in any part of nature in general, is that nature provides us (i've anthropomorphized nature, but I really mean that it is provided by the Provider, in the Form of nature) with an infinite amount of metaphors. Its interesting for me to think about the sheer number of comparisons that I drew as I looked at the river flowing through our campsite, the trail that wound endlessly on, the journey back down the mountain, the vast landscape from the top as compared to the enclosed sections of the trail. The list goes on. I think metaphors are important, in fact, Jesus himself used the parable of the Sower, to lay out how it is that the Gospel has been, and will be received. Comparing an element of the natural process with a personal process. I don't think it is a coincidence that there are are numerous parts of nature that, when abstracted, resonate quite poignantly with the lives of those who will take time to reflect.
2. A little anecdote: Alex and I were trying to find the bathrooms at our campsite one night, and then we looked up. We no longer cared whether or not our teeth were brushed for bed, but rather that we took time to capture beauty of the stars and night sky in that moment (see night picture above). As we sat down on the ground to figure out the appropriate shutter speed and how to simulate a tripod in a moment's notice, i just got excited. We sat there for a while, as the camera began to collect all of the light possible so that it could make a picture in which stars and trees were discernable. In the middle of one of the pictures, a car drove past, making a lot of noise, and as it did that I got really frustrated, as if the unnatural sound were somehow going to mess with the natural beauty of the picture. This, of course, was not the case.
Immediately after this little incident, my mind wandered to a recent passage in the book I am reading by Neil Postman, "Amusing Ourselves to Death." In the section that came to mind, Neil is discussing photography and telegraphy and the ways in which they give us a "psuedo-context." Of course, by the mere use of the prefix "psuedo," we might assume that Postman isn't neccesarily pleased by the presence of these mediums--or rather, that he is critical of them (i suppose its a critics job to be critical). "But there is no such thing as a photograph taken out of context, for photograph does nto require one. In fact, the point of photography is to isolate images from conext so as to make them visible in a different way." This little sliver of this enormous chapter leavese me with mixed feelings. Feeling 1: Joy. I'm extatic that in my photograph, the context is taken away. You can't tell by looking at the photo that there are tons of tents all around, you can't hear the sound of the truck as its many cylinders create noise and sound pollution...all that the onlooker can see is the beauty of the night sky. Feeling 2: Dissatisfaction. The photograph doesn't do the night justice. Though the onlooker can see the beauty of the night sky, that is the only sensory experience that will connect them with it. There are no cicadas chirping, no sound of river rushing nearby, no smell of campfire, no cool night air, the entire experience, save the particular visual one, is lost.
This has given me plenty to think about concerning the role of certain artisitic mediums, their strengths and their weaknesses, and their truth value (assuming, as I do, that there is, in fact, a truth value).
3. Well, I planned on typing a third, but it IS father's day, so I will retire upstairs to where the family has congregated to watch a classic--Remember the Titans.
Until next time.


Andrew said...


I'm pleased/jealous that you got to enjoy God's wonderful Creation in the way that you did. The mountains are wonderful. They are but one small reminder that our God is in control. That's why I love spending time in the mountains. It reminds that I am a God's and He is so much bigger than anything I can understand. One day I'll make it out to Half Dome, but for now your pictures will have to suffice my longing.

I pray all is well in your busy life.

BT said...

Annie, somehow you've managed to spend time thinking about many of the same things I've lately been pondering:
- The artistic medium
- Culture
- Criticism of the above two items
- Cicadas


So are you reading Tim Keller's book?
That's on my list too! (As well as Dorothy...)

Annie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annie said...

Tim Keller's book is on my list. While one of my friends was out here, she brought it with her and read sections out loud to me while we laid on the beach. It was wonderful. I have 14 books in line in front of that one, but I may have to scoot some of them aside, as this book has become somewhat of a Christian-circle, literary phenomenon.

Also, read Dorothy. NOW!

I'm glad that we've been pondering similar things, it will give us much to talk about when we return to good old Upland!