Lately I’ve just wanted to send people flowers: pictures of them. The trouble is, I have been taking fairly crummy flower pictures with my new camera phone, and my old Kodak digital five megapixel camera isn’t honestly much better. Flowers have a way of going out of focus when they move in the wind, and the wind is ever with me. Flowers have a way of looking wonderful in their environment, but the environment isn’t always photogenic. But the largest barrier between my flower pictures and my intent is man’s eternal quest, a camera that sees as he sees. I am amazed at the disparity between what my camera records and what I have seen in the very same spot. And the dissimilitude is specifically disheartening. All of this notwithstanding, I have included here a little bouquet of photos of my garden that look nothing like my garden because my camera does not see what I see. Just because I wanted to send some flowers to my friends.
My reading has changed trajectory. I decided life was too long to read The Canterbury Tales, because I found them not only candidates for being declared disgusting, but worse, frankly dull. I have wanted to read Black Hawk Down for about a year, so I finally gave in and ordered the book — one of three Kindle books I have actually purchased for more than $0.00. The incidents chronicled in the book occurred while I was in law school, so I was unable to follow the events as they happened. I have no doubt that Mark Bowden has recorded things accurately, including the high volume of gratuitous profanity, but my moral-ground altimeter places him at a point a little below sea level. I read about a quarter of the book and decided to return it.
My reading is a lot like my photography: I like things to be rendered as I see them. Narcissistic, I know, but at this point in life, necessarily valid. All Things Considered, a wonderful (and free!) e-book of essays by G. K. Chesterton, has been captivating, as have John Piper’s sermon series on Romans 1-8, and a delightful collection of short stories called More Sweet Tea. I was a day late for the $0.00 price, but splurged on day two and paid $1.99. It’s a wonderful book. The stories draw me into dynamic heart-to-memory ping-pong. I have so long denied myself the simple pleasure of reading really good stories. I am positively enchanted to discover there really is such a thing. I’ve never quite trusted fiction, or even other people’s memories as literature. Maybe I just had to outgrow a lot of resistance first.
So, here are some flowers for you. But I wish you could see what I see.