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A Photoessay on a Journey into Life: Bryn Mawr Campus Edition

Srucara's picture

"New Paths"

Life itself is a journey and during a sunny afternoon, I journeyed into life by exploring my surroundings on a leisure walk around the Bryn Mawr College campus. By journeying into life, I discovered and rediscovered the present moment. Along the way, I found great teachers, explored deeper the little things I once overlooked, questioned what I encountered, and discovered some amazing things. In order to collect and represent my journey, I took the peices I treasured most and compiled them into short essays beginning with a photograh and a bolded title. These little peices of my journey serve as individual musings and a collective signification - a signification which I hope will serve to reflect the beauty, complexity, and inherent distinctness of the world and within each of us.

"Breaking Boundaries"

Upon pondering the possible edges of the Bryn Mawr Campus, I came across this structure. It is a short wall which separates a section of campus from the road and the homes that stand across from the road. I soon decided not to think about any sort of physical boundary or separation which may serve as an "edge" of the campus but rather asking the question - is there an edge? Thinking in a more abstract plane, tthe campus functions as a place in which Mawrters, faculty, staff, and other students share information, gather information, and directly affect the environment in their interactions and engagement. This does not end at the end of North Merion Ave or Roberts Road. This goes on, all over the world. Everything is interconnected (see "connectedness" below). Whatever way Bryn Mawr as an entity shapes people serves to shape the world in its own distinct way as these very same people, ideas, whatever it may be, move on. These smaller entities directly affected by the larger collective entity of Bryn Mawr affect the entire planet. In ways I cannot even begin to imagine. What boundaries?


This word was etched into a statue near the Park Science Building. I pass this statue nearly every day as I take nearly all of my courses in Park but never stopped to inspect it closer. Upon doing so, I found this and was intrigued by this single word etched into the figure. Why did the artist choose connectedness? What did this figure have to do with connectedness? What about connectedness? How does this figure connect to the natural world? In fact I found this question quite fascinating and ironic as soon after I had discovered an intricate, very large, and long spiderweb extending the entire 10 or so feet along the statue.

 "The Old gives way to the new and welcoming change"

Although it is difficult to tell from this photograph, this tree which had been chopped for whichever reason may not grow any longer but exactly in its center, there is a budding seedling. This little plant was very inspiring and imparted to me a bit of wisdom on change and transformation. The old will always give way to the new, regardless of who will or will not accept it and transformation is inevitable. Based on the newly developing Quantum Mechanics based thinking - everything in our collective reality is energy and energy transforms continually. Looking at this trunk with its deep grooves and curves showed me that there once stood a tree that grew tall and old and although now it is gone, there lies in its midst something new, something different, and something just as interesting.

 “Flowers that looked beautiful, with the consistency of dried leaves”

This lovely and beautiful bush had these copper colored flowers. Generally flowers of any kind feel soft and light in the hand however after I had plucked one and felt it in my hands, I heard a crispy noise like that similar to dead leaves. These flowers were small but crunchy, gentle in their place but made their presence known with a loud sound.

“Busy Bumblebee” – on flowers that had a minty smell

I came across a lovely bumble bee busy at work on this bush filled with purple flowers. I was curious as to their scent and as I rubbed my fingers on their petals and inhaled, I could feel my nasal passageway being soothed by the minty smell. I was stunned by the scent because I expected something more floral and delicate. The best teachers embed life lessons in their teachings and the greatest teacher I have found so far is the natural world. Noticing this bumble bee busy at work, hopping from flower to flower, I felt this bee was teaching me and encouraging me to complete all of my assignments and duties as well. I should visit this bee more often.

"The Most beautiful sky I had seen in a long time"


This day was the most beautiful sky I had seen. The sky was a crisp, clear, and deep light blue and the clouds looked so perfect and dreamy - like fluffy cotton balls. It is not possible to successfully represent the beauty of what I had experienced in words or even to capture it in a photograph.










Anne Dalke's picture

A collage of images and words

Wow. You anticipated, by a week, my instructions to "find an image to represent the campus," by giving us a rich, rich series, in the form of a montage, or collage, of images and words. What a nice form of representing your "saunter," one that doesn't try to make it too sequential, linear, or linked!

What intrigues-and-pleases me is not just the "breaks," or gaps, between each section, but also the tensions and dissonances between the images and your explanations--the wall that leads you to ask "What boundaries?"; the stamped word "Connectedness," illustrated by a spider web; the seedling sprouting in a tree trunk; the beautiful flowers that sound like "dead leaves"...

Whether nature is our "greatest teacher," on the other hand, is one of your lessons we'll be interrogating as the semester goes on...does that claim presume a harmonious, well-balanced world? What of all our post-equilibrium understanding, all we know now of randomness, unpredictability and serendipity?

I actually wish you had trusted more what you were doing here: you could (for example) omit the opening paragraph that explains the shape the whole will take--it works QUITE well on it's own, w/out explanation! And I think you could probably omit the final paragraph as well: just let those beautiful clouds "speak" for themselves, without telling us that "successful representation"--in words or photographs--is impossible.

It's possible. You did it.