Saturday, November 22, 2014
A good place to reflect.
In cinematography, to see a reflection in a scene alerts the viewer of the reality of the matter, despite the script and actions of the players (an interesting technique used in mystery films, most notably by famous mystery director Alfred Hitchcock). One could go so far as to say that reflections are useful and necessary to get outside our limited perspective.
I feel the distinct need to reflect my current circumstance, as it stands. From inside my head, it seems extremely overwhelming - almost unbearable, at times. However, I'm sure it will seem diminished in intensity when it is over.
As for Greek class...to say its intense would be a pretty extreme understatement. It was billed as an "intensive Greek course," but was still supposed to be suitable for beginners. And, it was the only way to take Greek (as well as Latin), as the Classics Department was not offering these languages in a two-semester style, but rather this two-semester's worth of study crammed into one semester. I can tell you that this has not been a productive first-exposure to ancient Greek for me. It is most unfortunate that, in the rush of studying a chapter a day (it is a 5-day a week class for 8 credits), I have missed some foundational pieces of the Greek language puzzle. Most of the others in the class have had previous foreign language training, and even though I had 'studied' Hebrew for close to a decade, I was in no way prepared for this type of language study. It would have been a bit better if the textbook was more user-friendly (especially for beginners), but it is not...in fact, it is a respected text known as being the toughest but most comprehensive in the field of ancient Greek language study. It is most unfortunate for me (and my fellow students) that this expensive text would only be helpful if we already had a working ability within the language. In addition to all that, there are close-to-daily quizzes to encourage memorization. For me, all it encouraged was test-anxiety and destructive stress making it difficult to get to class every day. Even the prof is showing signs of the strain as we near the end of the term (in my view). In the final analysis, I will come out with a year of Greek on my transcript, a somewhat-ability to translate ancient Greek text as long as I have all my 'helps' at my side, including several Greek dictionaries, both English-Greek and Greek-English, as well as my many, many lists of supposed-to-be memorized word endings, prefixes, noun declinations and verb conjugations. Oh G-d, will I be glad when this class is completed!
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh—
my adversaries and foes—
they shall stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.
One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.
Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!
“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, do I seek. Do not hide your face from me.
Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O G-d of my salvation!
If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.
Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
for false witnesses have risen against me, and they are breathing out violence.
I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
I am well aware that I give all of my time away to others. I don't get much time to write for pleasure these days - all my writing is done at the will of someone else and for critique. I do miss writing for pleasure. Spending time in reflection is necessary, indeed...and a vital part of writing for me. Through writing, sanity is regained - perspective is centered. A little time stolen to reflect, write and to be alone to recharge is not nearly enough, but it will have to suffice for now.
And, I am so very thankful for it.