Ben's Photo Blog

Photos from my various adventures

Winter Wonderland

Posted by Ben on March 3, 2010

I’ll admit, this post is more to give me a space to ramble for a bit than for the pictures, but here are two pretty decent shots from earlier today:

We ended up getting another round of snow today, which to me at least, was completely unexpected.  Luckily I wasn’t trying to travel anywhere this week, so I didn’t have to worry about it affecting my plans.  Anyway, today’s snow was unlike the other ones that we’ve had recently in that it was mostly larger, damper snowflakes.  It made it pretty miserable to walk to class through, but the upside was we got a really nice covering on all of the trees around campus.  This shot was taken out by the duckpond earlier today.  I’ve always liked the natural arch of branches here, and thought it looked pretty good with the snow in the trees.

This one was just a little experiment.  Normally I’d shoot with the foreground in focus and the background blurry, but I thought I’d try it this way and see how it came out.  I think the limbs in the foreground are recognizable enough that you can tell what they are.

I also wanted to share this passage that I found in one of my books today:

“He who is certain he knows the ending of things when he is only beginning them is either extremely wise or extremely foolish; no matter which is true, he is certainly an unhappy man, for he has put a knife in the heart of wonder.”

This comes from the Author’s Warning before The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams.  I’m only about half way through the book, but it’s very good so far.

Anyway, I really liked this quote the first time I read it, and it has crossed my mind a few times in the last few days.  It is certainly a sentiment that I agree with.  It is very easy to convince yourself that certain situations can only turn out in one way.  And once you’ve done that, oftentimes it becomes a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.  If you know it can only end one way, why should you try to fight it and obtain a different outcome.

I am definitely guilty of doing this, probably much more often than I realize.  I think it’s also somewhat of a defense mechanism.  If we can convince ourselves that something can’t possibly work out in our favor, why even bother trying in the first place.  It seems perfectly logical, but can we ever really be certain of the outcome of something?  I mean, sure, if you plug 2+2 into your calculator, you are guaranteed to get 4.  But especially in situations involving our own actions and those of others, we can’t really ever be certain.

We are all capable of extraordinary feats in certain circumstances, able to accomplish things we never thought we would be able to do.  But if failure is a foregone conclusion, we never find ourselves in these situations to begin with, and we never learn what we can truly accomplish.  I also think it is a huge mistake to think that we can ever really know what someone else is going to do, or how they are going to react to something.   I’ll admit, I’m horrible at reading people and what they are thinking.  I’ve tried my hand at it, putting myself into sometimes awkward positions and anticipating that someone would react in a certain way, only to have it blow up in my face.

I guess what I’m getting at here is something I’ve talked about a couple of times before.  We have to be willing to take chances, on ourselves and on those we care about.  There is certainly risk involved, but without that risk, what can we really gain?  We have to be willing to go into these situations with an open mind and be willing to adapt to whatever comes our way.  Without that, we cannot really discover anything new about ourselves, others, or even the world around us.  In my mind at least, the uncertainty is worth the disappointments it sometimes brings for those magical moments when we do get a glimpse of the “heart of wonder.”

-Ben

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