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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

February 19, 2010

MONOCHROME

The phone had only one thing to say, though it came from three different sources. Each time it rang, it meant that another school had closed. My wife’s was closed. My daughter’s was closed. Her college class was cancelled too.

As for me, since I had no meetings and since all of Columbus was in a snow emergency it was best for all to remain home. As always, I can do work there from my computer.

The main thing to do around the house was keep our long driveway cleared. The snow last weekend was too wet for my John Deere lawn tractor with a snow blade. I had to hire someone to clear off the drive. I was determined to keep ahead of the snow this time. It was easier anyway. The snow was fluffy, but the wind was determined. It blew my driveway shut a couple times. But I had time on my hands and some warm winter clothes to make the operation easier.

It’s hard to know what to do with oneself when it is mid week and the work ethic calls to you but the snow and cold make staying at home the most sensible thing to do. But about mid day it seemed time to go over to the nearby Metro Park. Perhaps some of the trails had been plowed or walked on so I could enjoy them.

Around two in the afternoon I had the entire park to myself. Not another car in the parking lot, which was a mile back from the main road. The lot was plowed as it always is. I decided a walk to the lake might be in order. And it was.

Back in college, I took a course in photography. I think I had some extra time in my final quarter at Ohio State. I had a fine Minolta SLR and some knowledge of how to take and develop photos. As part of the course, we were given a certain amount of Kodak film each week for assignments. The film was black and white. The instructor would produce a proof sheet of all the photos on the roll and then we would take the negatives and develop some of the images for our various assignments. (This stuff about film and developing is all a foreign language to anyone under 35, so you might as well stop reading or skip to the final paragraphs.)

Using black and white had two advantages. For the school, it was cheaper to give us black and white and for us to develop only black and white prints. For us, it forced us to work with a limited amount of colors and so we concentrated on the images and textures of those images. We experimented with light and dark. In any case, everything was black and white. (I have posted on my office door, one of the photos, which I had for some assignment. I found it a couple years ago when moving.  I think it had to be some sort of particular image but I have long since forgotten the context.)

Black and white. That is all that I saw in the park the other day. The sky was the exact color (dull white) as the snow (dull white) the only break in the whiteness were the dark, bare trees. Where there were no trees, the sky melted into the snow and one could not tell where the heavens and the earth began or ended.

And as for the lake. It reflected the sky and so it became as one with the snow. There were a few birds on the lake. But they too were wearing the colors of the earth and sky and trees. The geese were black and the two swans were white. All of nature in chromatic harmony.

Monochrome.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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