- Jane Kirkpatrick. I just finished reading An Absence so Great, a part two continuance of A Flickering Light.
I was drawn into A Flickering Light because of the independence voiced by Jesse – to Question, to Create, to Grow, to Learn. She seemed powerful for her young years – and then drawn deeper into her personal story and struggle.
Jesse wanted to be a professional photographer, in an age when women were not trusted by banks or businessmen and were withheld from the vote.
History aside - her passion for taking natural photographs out side of the studio stirred my heart. Now, as time has passed, I read An Absence so Great – and Jesse is traveling, away from the known and loved – into the unknown, and the necessary. Into a world that is outside of her control. Through it all – her passion in photography does not fade, nor her stability in the Word, or her love of God or Family.
As I have travelled to a world that is unlike anything we have experienced, feeling the tide between being in control and out – and yet walking day by day with what He brings, I feel a kindred spirit with Jesse.
She says, “Didn’t you ever want to be a photographer yourself?” Jessie whispered. “Doesn’t the idea of making pictures and seeing how they develop make you want to see each morning come? Wake up looking forward to what the lens will show you?” Pgs 58
One of my daily great joys is in capturing the beautiful surroundings. Honing my craft. Seeing the angles. Adjusting to light. Playing with the macro, shutter speeds, and apertures. I am becoming quite obsessed with photographing the birds here in Lincoln County. Just this week I deleted 4.6 GIGS of ocean scenes from the laptop.
My family thinks I’m a bit loony with the camera. My new nick name is Paparazzi. My youngest son shares my obsession to shoot the birds – and since I won’t let him leer at them through a scope, he has been happy to gaze at them through the view finder. He gets good compositions, with his tiny quiet stealthy body in the woods.
We are opening up and claiming the joy of Nature Studies. Not as a “Friday Fun Day” Activity, but something of value, as a learning tool – and as vehicle of learning. Throughout the homeschool experience, our trust has been that God will bring us what we need to learn – He promises to equip the parents to train the children – and we are willing -
Which is where I stumbled on my other favorite passage on page 92
It was funny how when one paid attention to a topic, pebbles along the path appeared out of nowhere, leading one closer to it.
Now you might think I like this quote as it is a reference to the time I practically mugged her at a book signing at the High Desert Museum – and she used my name in the recollection – but no -
It is an accurate account of our relaxed unschooling faith filled experience. I pray about what the Lord wants the boys to learn, and then I stand willing to walk through it.
I have been wanting to talk about the Ocean Currents, and yet, have not found a point when life experience and timing have collided. Until this week, when Nate asked more detailed questions about the floats and debris along the shore line – and on one 6 a.m. walk he found two floats with the raised print still perfect, and half written in English. After finding over 50 floats – these were the first two, on the day he asked.
We came home to research the company – Possibly Sunyuan Fishing Co – and a detailed pictorial account of fisherman using these orange floats for gillnet fishing for flat fish out of the Tokushima Prefecture. Nate looked up what a Prefecture was – and where Tokushima was – which led to the currents question being raised gain – which led to answering why his family in Alaska has found so many more glass floats than the small amounts found here. Which led to writing out the maps, talking to dad, and seeing just how big the Pacific Ocean is, even though we have studied world geography.
Day two came yesterday, when I saw on my Google Notice that it was, had we stayed in Central Oregon, the day we were to give a report on Central America. So we spent the afternoon looking at books in the house on Central America, tied in their Roblox experience of yesterday, when they celebrated Cinco De Mayo on line – and talked of our fondness for Mexico. Nate and Jon were interested in the Panama Canal – and learned of when it was created in the early 1900’s and how long it is ( almost as far as from here to Salem) and what it opened up for the shipping industry. It was an easy chat, filling out maps, reading the books, looking up more detail – Easy. Pebbles along the path.
How many times though, do we come along pebbles along the path, and instead of picking them up to admire them, do we step over, or kick them. Or worse yet, pick them up – admire for a moment – and then toss them aside as worthless due to their abundances?
Pondering the book, An Absence so Great – I am sure that Jane Kirkpatrick can understand the whole in my heart left by leaving the high desert – no matter what the comforts of spring and amazing storms on the beaches bring. - Although her thought was in areas of a man/woman relationship - I read into the holes in my heart of those relationships in Central Oregon. Of the ones that are let go – and the ones that burn the hole larger with absence. I know, from a life of moving, that those holes will become lifelines, life long connections, and a joy of reunion – After 8 months, we are moving more to healing – and less of pain and grief – and I can understand why Jesse had to stay away for so much time – in her journeys.
I am pondering the writing of another topic – and she mentions it in the interview in the back – although it was a line of topic strung throughout the two books – the grief of a loss of a loved one. Especially in a quick circumstance, when those left closest are left with guilt and grief for their part in the death. She mentions quickly on page 375
“That made for interesting conversations within my immediate family . . . . The idea of how grief affects a marriage (my husband’s son died the first year of our marriage), . . .”
Our family has had a 5 year long battle with cleaning up the emotions of a suicide. Each year one thinks “things are better” but you come to a memory, or a forgetfulness that they are actually gone, or a remembrance of those left behind – and the emotions come running as fresh as the first day. I have pondered writing about the suicide here on my blog – as these are my ponderings and they are pondered by me often, and yet, it is my husband’s family who is directly effected, and I am a watcher. I think there should be support groups of spouses to learn how to help their families through grief. Surely there are so many who have gone before us – and yet we each feel alone – fresh – like we are the only ones walking the trail. I liked that she said it opened the communication in the immediate family – I am praying that our communication within the families involved can be free – and open – and healing.
My coffee cup is empty, and my ponderings are starting to turn, so I will continue on in another quiet morning.