Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What a Day

Open the windows for a little fresh air. The air temperature outside is around 74 and the air feels clean and invigorating. It feels like mid-spring when the flowers are waking up. Guess what? They are! The irises and other stem flowers are poking through the earth getting ready to open in a few weeks. While I really miss the New England foliage, it is compounded by new growth here in Jordan.

Each year I would dry out and press colorful leaves to send to friends across the country to remind them of autumn's splendor.

I started my day off by going to paint class. I'm doing two large paintings simultaneously. They are three feet by four feet so they require a lot of paint. I'm learning to be more generous with the application of paint because it makes it much easier in the long run. I'm developing techniques for new brush strokes. The paintings are coming along fine. In two more classes, I will have finished paintings four and five.

The art instructor gave me a huge compliment and I don't even think he meant it. He invited me to this three month class that will focus on five types of portraits. He said I must participate because I'm the best portrait painter (as a student) in Jordan. He said my faces resemble real life best of anyone. Not for a moment do I think it is true, but they are nice words to hear.

I finished my first very rough draft of my book on prayer and I received very kind feedback from a good friend.

I'm also involved in this Arabic-speaking play. I don't know how I landed up in this because (a.) I'm not an actor, (b.) I hardly speak Arabic, and (c.) I really didn't think I auditioned. Anyways, I am cast the role of Paul (an angel) and some of my scenes are exciting. I don't know how I'll memorize anything because most of the stuff is in Arabic. Even the songs!

Our chorus conductor said I am very brave for doing this. We did a photo shoot the other night which came out great. The play will be fun, but I need it to be over quickly because I'm over my head in this endeavor. We have five days of performances.

For the past two nights I have slept in my newly renovated room. Last night I slept well because the room is much more quiet than the old rooms, one of which had four large windows. Having only one good-sized window keeps the noise levels down. The room is also darker at night because I now have drapes to cover the windows, and finally, I have a clock that keeps time accurately because my other clocks lost 3 and 1.5 minutes respectively each night. I am in the throes of moving in so life will be disorganized for a while, but the light is at the end of the tunnel.

I'm still bemused by the driving. As I think about it, I cannot fault the drivers all that much. There is no custom that you stop at the end of a road to merge onto another lane. No stop signs exist so there isn't a good practice of obeying the laws. People bully their way into their lanes and do not think there is anything wrong with it.

Also, with regards to traffic lights, they are not placed across the intersection so you can see them. They are at the beginning of the intersection so that your head has to be turned at nearly a 90 degree angle to see when it changes. Nothing is placed in front of people's vision, which keeps them focused on the nearby and the immediate. Our minds are trained to follow our eyes. It we are not looking out onto the horizon, then the only thing we pay attention to is our very immediate surrounding. Having an expanded vision would train people to take in their remote and proximate environments. Life is not constructed that way here.

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