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October 23, 2003: A matter of perspective

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A few months ago I had this bright idea of starting a photo journal, posting one picture per entry, with the goal of one entry per day. Iíve been intrigued by some of the other photo journals Iíve found online, and since both Richard and I now have digital cameras and the ability to snap pictures at a momentís notice, I didnít think it would be too difficult to keep going.

I am discovering that it is far more difficult than I had previously imagined. I look at other sites and see beautiful or interesting snapshots that span the range from wild and bizarre to ordinary and every day items. Obviously finding things to take pictures of is not difficult at all for everyone else who has tried this. So why is it so difficult for me?

I know that one reason is that I am continually looking for something special Ė some great photographic moment Ė and that half the time I do not have my camera actually in my hand when I see something that might be worth capturing, or else by the time I fumble it out of my purse the moment has passed. And donít get me wrong Ė Iím actually pretty proud of a few of the pictures Iíve taken since we started this project, especially since I know I would never have thought to drag out the camera without such a motive. What I have such a hard time with is the notion that every picture does not have to be the perfect moment (And also, there's the little matter of the fact that no one would ever accuse me of being any kind of great photographer). We're still plugging away at it, however, if only because it *is* kind of fun, in a slightly frantic sort of way. And if nothing else it is forcing me to pay attention to things around me - something that's probably a nice change for someone who often defines the word 'oblivious' a little too well.

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We had an interesting discussion last night at the bible study. I noted before that this week was all about law and order and how it is laid out in the bible (if you want some fun, go poke through Deuteronomy and check out all the nitpicky little laws. My personal favorite is the one about how if two men get in a fight and the wife of one grabs the balls of the other, she gets her hand cut off. But anyway, the subject came up, as it inevitably does in these sort of situations, about people who do not believe in god but claim that they still are spiritual, and the natural question is, of course, how is this possible? As the token agnostic in the group, naturally I felt it my duty to at least attempt to offer some insight into how the rest of us wackos think, so after fumbling around and pondering it for a while I finally hit on an explanation that at least makes sense to me. Being spiritual does not require a belief in a supreme being. I believe that there are other powers out there that may not be visible to the human eye. I believe that people can interact with those powers to some extent, and that those powers can have an impact on what goes on around us - whether it be our own lives or our environment. What I have a hard time believing, however, is that there is one, central power that is supreme over everything else; that has ultimate power over me and every living creature and that is guiding my fate. That is, for me, the distinct difference between spirituality and belief in a god.

It seemed to make sense to the rest of the group (once I finally figured out how to put the whole concept into words), but I'm curious if I'm just some weirdly abnormal agnostic or if this is the general perspective of other people who are in my position. Not knowing very many other agnostics, I can't take any sort of informal poll, however. So I guess it will just have to do.

In other, less weighty news, Rebecca is home. The vet said she hadn't made a peep the entire time she was there, but the minute they opened the door to bring her out I could hear her yelling, and she did not stop yelling for more than the time it took her to suck in a breath the entire drive home. And people wonder why it is that house call vets are worth their weight in gold...

So far, she seems to be doing fine. The only thing remaining is to keep her shut up at night for the next two weeks because she's not allowed to sleep with us because she is still slightly radioactive. Why yes, this does makes me giggle like an idiot every time I say this, just so you know. And the plus side of this is that it's a great incentive to get out of bed in the morning, because as soon as the alarm goes off, she knows I am awake and starts yelling. So much for my usual habit of smacking the snooze alarm at least once and rolling over to get a few more minutes of sleep. I could be wildly optimistic and say that two weeks of hopping out of bed at the first sound of the alarm might cure me of the snooze button habit, but I think we all know better than that.

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