A Photo Essay in Textures

IMG_0721  IMG_0722

I was heading back from med school today when I paused to snap some photos at Memorial Church.  It was a bright afternoon, and the alcoves were boldly patterned with shadow and dashes of afternoon sunlight.  

IMG_0723

On an impulse, I switched the filter on my iPhone to the tonal setting and peered around, catching the interplay of light and dark.

 I have long loved the concept of chiaroscuro, the dance of light and shadow in photography and other forms of art.  More often, though, I focus on the palette of colors around me–the different shades of green in the sunlit leaves, the heaven-sent blue of the sky, or even the dull black of the asphalt beneath my shoes.

IMG_0724

IMG_0725

IMG_0726

In the absence of color, however, my eyes were instinctively drawn to the patterns and textures around me.  Rough stone, shadow-ink, arches of light.

IMG_0730

Even an anonymous bicyclist passing by me became a whirling dance of shapes and shadows.

IMG_0735

IMG_0734

Later this evening, after watching an instructional video on placing IVs, I paused to examine the snaking paths of my own veins.  We’ll be practicing on each other, and I’ve never had an IV before.  It looks like it’ll be more complicated than drawing blood, and I’m mainly nervous about having one of my valves get in the way of the thin plastic catheter we’ll be threading into my vein.

IMG_0747

Yes, I’m a little nervous.  But this is an essential part of my training and a skill that will enable me to help others.

IMG_0745

Maybe my stethoscope will be a bit like my camera filter…it provides a new lens, teaching me to see with my ears, to notice things I might miss otherwise.  Reminding me to pause and listen, which is a good thing to do any day, regardless of whether or not I’m in the hospital or classroom or clinic.  

It’s easy to let life and others slip by.  It’s like how my heart is always beating; blood is always pulsing through my veins, but I rarely stop to think about it and appreciate this rushing gift of life.  It’s only when I see my blood flashing into the hub of a needle that I really remember it’s there, or when I have to palpate for a vein, or bandage my finger after a mishap in the kitchen.  But it’s always there, just like everything around us.

I can hear the pulse of this life in the footsteps around me as I cross the med school sidewalks, or in the rhythm of voices lost in dialogue.  And with a clock to my ear, I can almost hear the heartbeat of time.

IMG_0727
Campus bell tower – September 2014

2 thoughts on “A Photo Essay in Textures

  1. Larissa, what beautiful chiaroscuro photos of the campus and your hands! Don’t worry about placing the IV! If we where in the same group, I’d love to be your partner ~ I’m sure you’re very careful with your patients and will do a good job 🙂

    1. Aww, thanks so much Sarah! I’d love to be your EMED practice partner too, or your patient someday! I hope your session goes great tomorrow also. 🙂 I loved your latest Savoring Spoon post, by the way! It was fantastic as always. 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s