Who Am I?

I've had two pieces of news in the past 24 hours. One is a date for my operation: Saturday June 21. The odds are that they'll whip out the prostate and, apart from the possibility of some embarrassing and, I hope, temporary side effects, I should be good to go for another couple of decades at least.

The other news is that I am sick. I have a piece of paper, signed by an actual doctor, which tells me so. Of course I already knew this but now, it's official and I am on sick leave not study leave. I'm an invalid, not a scholar. I marked my new found decrepitude by getting over -well, almost - the hacking cough which I've had for almost 3 weeks and by going for a long vigorous walk and taking some photographs.

It's odd how different I felt walking out of the doctor's office with my envelope in my hand. I was free not to sit with my tricky books. I was free to think about this illness, and what the rest of my life might bring, and how I might reshape my lifestyle to extract every bit of life I possibly can out of the (extremely long, if you don't mind, please Lord) time left to me.

What we believe about ourselves determines almost everything else. Our self perception will determine our values, our way of relating to others, the care or otherwise we display to ourselves, the love we will lavish on this lovely planet gifted to us, the measure of faith, hope and love which we will carry with us always . And I mean, always. The determining nature of our self perception is why personal faith is perhaps the most important single attribute of our lives. As Carl Jung said, there is not a single psychological or lifestyle problem that is not in the final analysis a spiritual problem. This time is important for reflection on my being -body, mind and spirit, and I have a new freedom to pursue it. No more dry scholarly stuff for me!

So now, poor invalid that I am, what will I do tomorrow with my new found freedom? I think, early in the morning, after my Bible reading and prayer/contemplation, I'll sit down, with the sermons of Meister Eckhart. I'll read some of them, and make notes and ponder the difficult points he is making. I think I'd really enjoy that.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Kelvin - I am sure you would have heard of the golden rectangle and fibonacci numbers. Do you use this concept conciously in your photographs?
VenDr said…
Yes. The fibonacci sequence lies behind the most basic and widely used rule of thumb in photographic composition: the rule of thirds.
VenDr said…
Your question prompted me to look at the photos on this page. Of the 7 shots only 2 are composed using the Ro3. Maybe I don't use it as often as I thought I did.
Anonymous said…
When it is used there is a quiet harmony to the photos. I have, amongst many other books, been reading about fibonacci numbers and marvel at their pervasiveness in the universe. The golden rectangle (a function of these numbers) is in evidence in everything from the pyramids to the profile of an egg, to the face of the Mona Lisa. An interesting experiment is to take a golden rectangle (I think - ratio 1:618) and cut off a carefully measured square from it. You are left with another golden rectangle.
Millions of artists, architects and photographers use it deliberately to create balanced and harmonious creations.
Anonymous said…
Kelvin, if I might be so bold, I'd like to recommend that you read some Alexander McCall Smith his stories set in Africa, and in Scotland, are full of spiritual insight, and they are truly lovely to read. You might start with The Number One Ladies Detective Agency, and work from there. I always feel uplifted after I read something of his, although it might sound like fluff to a scholar like you! Smith is also a scholar, and a keen observer of life as well, and if you are languishing about not studying, reading something joyful will surely improve your sense of well-being! If you do read and like his stuff, and say so in your blog, I'll tell you who I am!

Be well, and God bless!
Anonymous said…
Kelvin, You know better than me...finding a health problem is help from God for pointing out to go find cure. We never are free...Wherever we go..we bring with ourselves our conscious and subconscious mind...By not thinking of the health issue after all is settled with the doctor is the best medicine..Yes..you are free to go and SEE and document Gods world...and bring it back to us...with a special point of view from your Soul..God had blessed you Kelvin...and that is eternal...you will be fine...and see the difference of thinking about this world and all of us in it...Your photography is outstanding...but now close this chapter and begin a new one...the difference in depth of seeing and thinking will be amazing to all of us to see...I am walking on your path of freshly discovered condition for what there is NO cure...just extending life...and I take each day as a gift from God..and pray for everybody ill...Will come back to see your very deep meditation...as the situation shifted YOU already to other paths and views..Wish you successful surgery..will make a special prayer as I do for all who ask me on WS..and you will see how easy all be gone.. A paper is good to free your TIME to better meditations and less responsibilities...And you have your family...What a blessing..I outlived each and every one of my family on face of this earth...Good Health to You in Gods name...Da Nomad
Megan Rennie said…
Kelvin - Recently finding out about your illness will reveal that I have not been to St. John's for many weeks, but I want to thank you for the wonderful Sundays when I heard your sermons and felt so welcome in your parish. You seem to be taking your illness in stride and you are proving to be an enlightened individual yourself. I cannot offer any bits of wisdom (others seem to have that covered!) but I do wish you well, and again, I thank you most sincerely for your generous spirit. I wish you a quick recovery and many happy years ahead!