Thursday, December 30, 2010

the after-Christmas before-January-4th void

Santa has come and gone. Maybe you were lucky enough to get a quick shot of him climbing up the chimney for the kids who demanded "proof" this year:

The gifts have been opened and the torn wrapping paper cleaned out from underneath the couch.

Christmas dinner has been ingested and digested and flushed away, with a few cups of eggnog left in the fridge.

If you contributed to China's economy more than you really wanted to this holiday season and couldn't afford to take a vacation, you have now hit the void. The "Christmas break void" is one of the peaks of a parent's desperation throughout the year (not to rival summer break) to keep the kids busy so that they don't put ribbons and lipstick on the cats out of sheer boredom, but with no money to do anything.

I was able to dig up $20 from a dusty corner this afternoon to take the kids to an indoor family playroom. We did R/C car and helicopter racing, played fuss ball, pool and air hockey, and climbed through a treehouse.

The boy will be a pool shark by age 13 if I have my way
(after we positively ID the cue ball)

Because of poor planning, I wasn't wearing the right pants for the situation. They were jeans, but low riders that didn't allow for bending and crouching. It took a lot of coordinated movements and slick clothing readjustments in order to avoid flashing half the building from up in the air.

My kids spotted friends to play with, so I grabbed the nearest magazine and plopped down on a couch. Finally, a little me time while they were happy and occupied.

The magazine was La Vie Claire. I had never heard of it before, but it was full of gardening photos, so I couldn't put it down.

Lately I've been searching for worthwhile New Year's resolutions, not something thrown lazily together such as "exercise 3 times a week" or "shave my legs daily" (weekly maybe?).

One of the quotes in the magazine was "Do something creative every day." Am I sheltered or something, or do I just spend too much time reading the news? That quote had never passed my eyes before. But I am now making it my own. Resolution #1. Even if it's as simple as taking one photo, because I don't always have time to write.

When we finally returned home, my hands were shaking from a near-lethal cappuccino/Rice Krispie treat/Lucky Charms combination. Maybe that's why I decided to take this photo tonight:

I've been playing around and experimenting with the settings on my digital camera lately (forever an amateur), and I'm fascinated by how a slow shutter speed will make stationary lights gyrate and put them into motion, when in reality they are standing still.

I created this photo tonight, which I have named "Holiday Procession." The streaks are shaped like faces with torsos; the figures march forward two by two in both a somber and celebratory way. The context is yours to imagine.

The Christmas break void has turned out to be fruitful for me. I have gained a little direction for next year--to focus more on creating, rather than sitting for longer than I should as a passive participant of life behind my computer screen.

Now I just need to get up the will to pull out the Play Doh again so that my little ones can enjoy a bit of creativity too (perhaps I have a future fashion designer on my hands, since she has recently discovered that the mushy pink and blue glop adheres beautifully to her pants).


Scarlet said...

Wow, I honestly didn't know you could do that with shaking the camera or something. Well, you learn something new everyday I guess..... Must try that next time i get my hands on a cam.

I love your son's face in the pool picture through. Completely priceless.

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