Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What Lies Beneath

At Up 2 Us this year, MJ Broadbent encouraged us to go outside and really look at our environment.
So Dave Gray (shown), Michelle Gray (who took the picture above), Mike Hruska, Patrick Scullin and I grabbed the nouveau Polaroid camera to take up the best real estate at the park - the end of the boardwalk by the Haw River.

Notice that the water doesn't look like much - just a sludgy brown surface.

When the pictures came out of the camera, it was amazing what came out.

Probably a bit tricky to see in the shots above (thanks Megan for taking a picture of the board), but the camera captured a lot more detail than I saw staring in the water with my naked eyes.  The branches and small shrimp-like critters. The differences in the currents between the surface and underwater.

The pictures also didn't capture the water temperature (cold, but I could stick my feet in it comfortably for about 10 minutes), the conversation (mostly about the nature of joy), the smell (slightly swampy)...all the little details.

MJ intended for us to see how environmental systems in nature can be mimicked in our human environments, but I got something a lot more valuable out of the exercise....

A reminder to slow down and really be with my surroundings.  Observe ALL of the parts - not just what is apparent with the eyes. Not just how I THINK things should flow and work and evolve.

Yeah...we "debriefed" afterwards.  I stood up in front of people I have mad respect for and improvised something sortakindanotreally related to the "exercise." I think I was muttering something about paying attention to "what lies beneath" when analyzing any system at the time this picture was taken.  At least - I tried to sound intelligent. 
"So Wendy, what do you think "Joy" is?" Dave asked when he realized I wasn't really engaged in the conversation by the river.

You know....this may be it.  The feeling that all is as it should be and I belong here.

That realization alone made the weekend.

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