The Ever Fleeting Sun

So, It’s been a while, but it’s a new month. With that comes new and glorious things. Actually, that completely depends on where you are in the world…but I wont go into that right now.

I am writing to tell you, my readers, my family, and my friends; whether you are on wordpress, facebook, twitter or something else, that a change is coming. For some of you, this change will not matter and wont effect you in anyway. For others, it will be a welcomed change.

In the recent months that I have been in New Zealand, I have been thinking. While I know that this is a dangerous task to engage in, I have been doing it none-the-less. In the last few days, this thinking has been fed by a desire of intentionality. Why do we do what we do? Is it the best way? Is it the wise way? These thoughts have been centralized around one device. The Smartphone. Now, before I get into this, you should know that I am very tech savvy. I fixed the network for the social service agency I worked for, I taught my mom how to work around the computer, and I used to work at an Apple Store. This is no nudge on myself, but rather a product of the age I’ve been born into. Kids are just amazing at this stuff now.

STILL, in January of this year, I owned my first smartphone. I know. I know. Somehow I was living without one until now.With the integration of this new device, I promised myself that I would NOT be thr675239_4945798[1]at guy who is always on his phone, telling people he’s paying attention, when in reality how could I be?! Pretty soon I had people telling me that I was consumed with the device. It sickened me. But on I continued.

One of the few changes I will be making is the choice to stop using apps on my phone that use data. Whether that is Google search, a web browser, facebook, twitter, etc. Unless I’m in a bind, I will be checking these things on my own time, on my laptop. I have done this for my whole life, without having it literally at my fingertips, and I am wagering that this is what everyone can still do. I will go so far as to say that we don’t NEED (“need” being the key word) data for our phones (aside from using phones for text & calls)

This is a decision I normally would have made on my own, without broadcasting it to the web, making me look ‘holyer than thou.’ The reason I chose to write about this and publically tell you about what I’m doing is because I think that this is a pretty serious problem taking over. We don’t sit still anymore. Stillness/silence is feared and even seen as ridiculous. And I think that taking small steps to slow down, and remove the smartphone from my tight, unforgiving grip….is a good thing! Think about it.

Now, on a different note, with me living in New Zealand, I feel a great obligation to write about my life here as well as share photos with those back home, to give them an insight to my life. “TAKE PHOTOS” were scellphone-taking-pictures_53382_600x450[1]ome of the last words said by some of my friends before I left. And yet, I am not ignorant enough to realize that my life here can look much more incredible than what my friends and family back in the flattest state in the U.S. are living. My photos can inadvertently cause others to hate their life, or resent my happiness. Without realizing it, I can come off as someone “having it all” showing the best parts of life, rather than the flat tire I just got, or the dull monotony that occurs on most days (even in New Zealand). I run risk of deifying this land in a manner that is in no way accurate, or fair to those back home.

I have thus decided to stop subjecting my friends, on facebook or twitter, to my photos on instagram. I will still post to instagram, but those photos will only be available to those following me on the site. Those people choose to see my photos, rather than me forcing people on facebook to look at my “amazing life.” Please note that my reaction is not a response to anything that anyone voiced to me, but rather a product of my intentional thought process. We need to be considerate, and we need to know the effect we may be having on one another. What is wise?photo

Finally, I have started a side-project called “The Ever Fleeting Sun” where I post the photos that most people will now not be seeing on facebook. If you choose to go to my site, you will see the beauty that I see, as well as the moments that I personally feel like capturing in this incredible country.

Thank you for reading and hearing me out. I think that this will be a good change, and I think that I will enjoy it. Much Love from the great land of New Zealand.

Eric

 

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The Beauty in a *CLICK*

Sometimes in life, you are given the rare glimpse into the lens of something truly beautiful. If you are smart, you will chase it and let it affect you in a deeply transformative way. I had just that experience the other day when I stumbled on a blog belonging to a WordPress user who followed my blog here at Leaves in the Pages. His name is Patrick Latter and his WordPress site is Canadian Hiking Photography.

The reason that I am writing about Patrick today, is because he never asked me to plug his website, photography, or blog. He never told me how awesome his photos are, or how I should check out his page when I get a chance. I am merely intrigued by all users who find an interest in my blog, and so I likewise check out theirs as well. What I didn’t expect to find when I clicked on his link was jaw dropping awe.

This is my favorite.

Patrick uses very good equipment and outlines what he uses before each post on his blog. (which I find very cool). Still, a tool is only as good as its master, and….I was found speechless on many occasions when scrolling through all the different photos and moments captured in his lens. The art, the beauty, the tranquility caught in a CLICK, was honestly one of a kind. No, I’m not drunk. I just love this stuff. I would be doing exactly what he is doing if I had the gear and the means.

I will now show you a greatest hits from what I found to be the most breathtaking and simplistically awesome. I would highly suggest following his blog, as the good pictures don’t stop coming with this guy. You can visit his website here: http://patricklatterphoto.com/#/0, his blog, as mentioned above, here: http://hikingphoto.com/, and if you want to buy any of his photos and hang them in your hallways (as I am thinking about doing), go here: http://patricklatter.smugmug.com/.

As you look through these photos, do more than glance and move on after 1-2 seconds. Take a moment, and really look at the photo. Imagine yourself there, taking the picture. Immerse yourself in the spectacle. Then you may understand why I love these photos.

International Developments

Well, I apologize for my last post. Sometimes you just need to do things that are weird and stupid. “Why? That’s retarded Eric.” Okay reading audience, first off, don’t use “retarded,”…ever…for anything. If I catch you using that…in any of your sentences again, you’ll get a pretty bad lecture from me. And second, doing something stupid and weird shows vulnerability and shows that you’re human unlike everyone else trying to act perfect. It also colors up life, so do something stupid today. Cause I said so.

NEXT: So the other day, this guy, skyped me and asked if I wanted to do a blog for his church in New Zealand. Naturally, I said yes without a second thought. Writing internationally? Awesome. So now I am writing some sample sections for their sermon series on LOVE and the different kinds of Love that the Bible shows us.

It is kindof a daily thing that I have to keep up with, so it’s a little intimidating, but it also forces me to be a little more organized and Type A. Hahaha, which if you know me, is just not how I get things done around here. STILLLLL, this is a fun project, that at the same time is helping me get into the word ALOT more. WIN/WIN.

Also, in my Program Evaluation course at AU, I am trying to get an International Social Work Course implemented. Not the easiest thing to do, but that is why I am trying to help them recognize the need for one through research and survey analysis. It is important, that if we are sending out social workers into the field, whether that is domestically, or internationally, that they are trained and capable to represent the name of social work in a positive regard. If students travel overseas, who represent Aurora University School of Social Work, and they are not well prepared for social work on an international level–I feel that is wrong. This is why I take the stand I do. Hopefully it will pan out.