Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mystory III

Obtuse Meanings

Punctum Image

In the second chapter of Internet Invention, Ulmer asks us to define what he calls the "obtuse" (the unique, personal) meaning of an image. The image above is, obviously, an image of a house, apparently during summer. From the the side mirror in the bottom left you can tell that it was taken from a vehicle. A moving vehicle, actually, which explains the angle of the picture. The reason the driver didn't stop for a better shot is because, on the far left, just out of sight, is a landscape window. And behind that window was a family wondering why a bunch of people in a mini-van were taking pictures of them. 

This picture is of our old house back in Denver, CO. It was last summer, and we were visiting Colorado. We were going to stop and take a few pictures of the house, but as we slowed down, cameras and phones ready, we realized the family was right there looking at us. We didn't stop. We awkwardly waved and quickly moved on. This is the only picture I got.

It was strange seeing the house I had called home for seventeen years, knowing it was someone else's home. I know the ins and outs of that house and yet I may need see the inside again. What was strange is that it didn't bother me. You see, when I first found out we were moving to Oklahoma I stubbornly thought, "Fine, but Colorado will always be my home." However, later that day we went to church and the section read was 1 Peter 2:11... 
"Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and strangers in the world, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,"
It hit me that this world is not my home. Not even Colorado. Although moving was still hard, that made it easier. Christ has helped me to be content, even to the point where I can say that I love Oklahoma. This picture is a reminder of how easily things can change.

Verbal Punctum 

Last summer I began reading the The Lord of the Rings. Often, I didn't fully read the names of the characters. I just skimmed over them. One was Aragorn, a leader, companion and protector to the main character. This seems like a fairly simple name, but for two out of the three books I managed to miss the second "r" in Aragorn, reading it like Aragon. I even messed my sister up when she started reading them. It wasn't until my sister reread the name and pointed it out, that we realized my mistake. I remember it took awhile to get get used to the correct pronunciation. For a long time Aragorn reminded me of the "Gorn" from the Original Star Trek series, a green hulking lizard man. It still does, actually, but I try not to think about that.


One of my favorite music artists is Christian hip-hop and rap artist, Toby Mac. For a while he was all I listened to. You can imagine my excitement when we received an email from a local radio station that we had won two VIP passes to one of his concerts. We didn't realize at the time, but they were valued at several hundred dollars each. The day of the concert my mom (who is also a fan) and I arrived early for "the pre-show meet." There were about twenty other VIP's and when Toby Mac arrived everyone flocked around him. A line soon formed for pictures and autographs. It was at that moment, when I finally got a good look at him, that it hit me; he was just another human being, made of the same fragile flesh. He was also shorter than me. I think that was important, because I don't know if his "humanness" would have hit me so hard had he been 6.5' or something. But here was the man I looked up to and he was shorter than me. I remember thinking about when Michael Jackson died, and I remembered videos of his concerts and seeing people screaming and fainting. I remember thinking, "he's the same, he was just a person too, and he's gone now." It was a stark reminder of how very much alike we all are.
"All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall" - 1 Peter 1:24


  1. I am struck by the very mature nature of your comments, Elijah, even on your own posts, much like an adult would look at an earlier version of himself and remark that now he is an a freshman in college. You have a very compassionate view of others that enriches you own self-understanding. I appreciate your viewpoint and look forward to reading other posts.