Saturday, October 2, 2004


It’s autumn.
In the air.
And in my life.
I’m in the autumn season of my life. (It’s a mathematical thing. Average life span is 80 years. Divide that by 4 seasons = 20 years per season. I’m 43. That puts me in the early, most colourful part of fall.)
It’s also a physical thing.
My leaves are droopin…errr, I mean dropping. And my body is rich with colour. Fresh, dewy, younger, spring-like skin has been replaced with popped-out brown moles, red spider-like veins, silvery stretch marks, and a most autumn-like ruddy complexion.

It’s a mental thing too.
I’m thinking like an almost-dead person. I’m thinking I don’t want to learn too many new things. I’m thinking I don’t want to attempt physically demanding acts that could potentially cause my body to ache or cry out in pain. Or re-engage brain-cells that are in, quite possibly, permanent hibernation.

I went to my first photography class on Thursday night energized. It was with embarrassment I noticed, 15 minutes into the evening that I was sitting on the edge of my seat, leaning forward with anticipation to any and every thing the instructors were saying. Once a nerd. Always a nerd. (I even had a box of Krispy Kreme donuts to share my class, but at the last minute chose not to bring them in. I’m a nerd and a suck up...)

But I was even more humiliated one hour later, when I realized I had no idea what they were talking about. Depth of field, f-stops, aperture settings, AV, ISO, blah blah blah. The room was very warm and dark, and I was straining to interpret a foreign language. By the time they handed us our assignment I was spent. Exhausted beyond the point of reason. (Proof: I completely forgot to watch ER when I got home. Clearly my mind had snapped like a hair elastic forced to hold back too much thick unruly hair that had been conditioned with a volumizer.)

Clint is taking photography 11 at school. His first assignment is due next week; he is to take pictures depicting texture, line, shape and object. How easy is that? How fun is that?
Denise and Felice are taking a photography class in Surrey. They started last week, so I went with them on Sunday while they snapped shots for their homework. They were to bring in photos of three different objects shot 6 different ways. Hello. I do that all the time.

But I don’t understand what my homework is. Well, I get the first step:
1. Load film in your camera
After that, I’m lost…
2. If you have a fixed focal length lens. (50 mm) take four pictures, one at 1/8 or, 1/30, 1/125, and 1/500. With a zoom, take two sets of three images, 1/15, 1/125, 1/500, one set at 28 mm and one at 85mm+++.
What the?? How slow am I going to have to read that instruction before it makes any kind of sense to me?

I have two pages of that obscure language to sift through and figure out.

I’m in autumn. Maybe I should have notified the instructor. Explained that I’m handicapped. It’s too late in nature’s life cycle to be tackling new challenges.

I spent a few hours this week at the Campus Crusade offices. Apparently my chances of actually getting a paid position escalate if I invest some volunteer hours. I can do that. I have nothing but time on my hands.
Felice, knowing me somewhat, interpreted that a good department for me to log some hours in would be “Event Planning.” How fun is that? How perfect for me? They’re hosting a development dinner this Saturday for 300 guests, and Anne needed some help with details. Details? My middle name is D’tale…
Of course, with the ways things go, I ended up in a totally different corner of the cubicle maze and wound up making invitations instead for Global Aid’s dinner.
There I sat, at an empty desk, using a paper cutter, a glue stick, and maple leaf cutouts to assemble a 4 part, tri-folded invitation. Memories… I did this exact same project 18 months ago for a friend’s wedding. Imagine if this was my job? How awesome. Get paid to make cards. Oh yeah. Who’s da man?
And then Felice said, “Have you ever used a Dictaphone?”
“Oh. Well, they’re not hard to learn. The boss records all his notes that way…”
I shoulda interrupted her right there.
“Excuse me. Maybe you weren’t aware, but I’m in the autumn stage of my life. I am not able to learn new things. My capacity for learning new-fangled technological gimmicks is diminishing. I cannot program my VCR. I unplug my router every 7 minutes because it’s too hard to figure out why I keep losing my internet connection. My shed buzzes all night long with some sort of electrical malfunction. I let it continue. My water cooler came with a mini six-pack fridge at the bottom. It doesn’t get cold. So I put chips in there. There is no possible way I will ever be able to figure out how to use a Dictaphone in what is left of my lifetime.”

Of course I didn’t shout that.
Everyone speaks so softly, gently, calmly in those cubicles.
If that’s a job pre-requisite I’m sunk. I’ve got a booming voice that’s yelled its way through spring and summer.
It’s too late to change.
I’m the letter C on the way to becoming an O in the circle of life. One little slip of a line left to live…
I’m in autumn.
It’s a justification thing. An attempt to rationalize my fear of failure to learn new concepts.

It’s a psychological thing… a valid sounding excuse for being a lame ass.

But mostly it’s an undeniable mathematical equation that cannot be argued, based on the assumption that I’ll drop dead on my 80th birthday.

Won’t that be a party to look forward to?
I could probably start planning that event now…

No comments: