Monday, October 27, 2008

Appreciating Life Better Through Blogging

Blogging on whatever strikes me has intensified my observations and appreciations of the life and events that passes on around me. Life presents opportunities to find beauty and interest in the near-at-hand. (Take this view of a little pond in a new park here in Cambridge.)

Much of the time life becomes a repeated pattern of events: go to work, come home, eat, watch a little TV, pay some bills, keep in touch with friends, etc. Weeks pass as a series of low intensity events while life lives me and not the other way around. We become numb to life -- the intensity can be lost.

When I was younger, there were more spontaneous things I did with friends or places visited, and life had a greater intensity. But now that I'm living in the neighborhood of middle age, this repeated pattern of weekly events lived while trying to keep one's head above water (especially when work is busy) results in a life can become a bit of a rut at times.

But, I've found that blogging is a blessing that gives me an outlet where I can reflect on my feelings of moments and events as they enter my life. Momentary scenes are often filled with an intensity of feelings, thoughts, and connections.

Consider this photo I took: "August Sunset at Longfellow Bridge." This is taken from the train platform of Charles Street station looking west from Boston in to Cambridge. The Red Line subway and roadway cross the Charles River. First thing that moved me was the striking lighting effect created by eclipsing the setting sun with a lightpole, bathing the view in a warm yellow light. And the back-lit cloud over the steam power plant across the river. And the peaceful and empty view with only one young woman standing on the platform, no traffic on the bridge --- all in stark contrast to an otherwise bustling Saturday in Boston. It was Aug. 18th, and I was on my way to see the movie Vicky Christina Barcelona in its first week of release.

(As a transportation engineer, this one photo covers many interests including a unique view of the bridge, the train tracks, the Charles River, and the power plant across the river, one of the few surviving industrial landmarks of a once major manufacturing district built filled tidelands. The platform extension where the photo was taken was built in 1982, as part of a project I worked on).

Here's another favorite "Sunny Lane in Autumn" taken in the midst of Cambridge. On a rare warm October Sunday, with the delicious rays of the sun on my skin (as I yearned for the summer that is now past), I could sabor the respite from cooler days as I strolled comfortably in short sleeves and flip flops all the while taking in the colors of the autumnal arboreal transformation. I had always thought one really needed to get out of the city to see fall in New England. Drive up to New Hampshire and Vermont, take winding country lanes, find an apple stand, and hope it's not raining and cold. But, instead, the beauty of fall comes right to my fair city, if I just go out and appreciate it.


Sara Mu said...

I do love Boston in the fall. Beautiful photos.

OkLawStudent said...

I really enjoy the photos in this blog! Very beautiful!