I went to Toronto a few weeks ago for a TESOL convention. The convention center was right next to the CN Tower, which for those who don’t know, is the tallest free-standing structure in the western hemisphere. It stands out, is what I’m trying to say. Plus, Toronto doesn’t have a lot of super-huge skyscrapers. See if you can spot the CN Tower in this picture:
If you couldn’t find it, you must be listening to the audio version of this blog (available now!)
I find it a wonderful irony that large objects are unmistakeable from far away but can be easily hidden close up. Here’s a picture I took from near my hotel:
Fifty feet in either direction and the tallest building in the western hemisphere is hidden by someone’s house (well, a lot of someones’ houses) but the point is, it isn’t the tower that changes at all, or even the surrounding landscape: it’s the viewing position. For someone like me who thinks in metaphors, this is a very satisfying truth.
I am an English teacher, but I have actually preached in church four times. I was a deacon in my church in Korea and when the pastor is gone, someone has to do it. My style is much more logical progression of ideas and much less fire and brimstone. I must have a sulfur deficiency.
The very first time I preached, it was on this idea of perspective. The question I posed was: “What can come between you and God?” The answer: absolutely anything, because it all depends on our viewing position, not on Him. After all, the sun is the largest object in the solar system but I can block it out with my thumb if I hold it right in front of my eye.
I’d expound more on this, but this is ostensibly a fiction blog and you probably came here for stories, not theology (I could be wrong, of course). That is why I’m starting a new blog for all the rational, brimstone-less essays on religion, faith and philosophy that are rattling around in my head.
Don’t worry, the Green-Walled Tower isn’t going anywhere. This is a year of big things for this little blog and 2015 is draped in ivy, as far as I’m concerned. Still, I do have a lot of good ideas that don’t fit well into this blog format, so that’s why the Tower is getting a baby brother.
I’m still not sure what to call it: the Green-Walled Church? The Green-Walled Monastery? We’ll see. Stayed tuned.
April 11th, 2015 at 12:52 am
Green walled monastery sounds cool! 😉
April 13th, 2015 at 8:19 pm
🙂 Yeah, I kind of like the sound of that too. It seems peaceful and meditative.
April 11th, 2015 at 8:48 am
Good luck with whatever new green-walked structure you choose to create!
I was in Toronto for the TESOL conference too. The walk from my hotel to the convention centre was pretty short and I couldn’t see the CN tower at all! I was so surprised to see it pop up whilst I was crossing the bridge from one side of the centre to the other. (To be honest, I had no idea where I was because it was a last minute decision to attend and I had no time to even look at a map).
April 13th, 2015 at 8:24 pm
That’s so cool that you were there. It was a huge event. I’ve been to conferences before but nothing that big. We were in the Radisson down by the waterfront, so it was a 10 minute walk or so. What sort of classes do you teach?
April 13th, 2015 at 9:38 pm
It was crazy big! it was my first time attending and I was really overwhelmed even though I was only there for three days. Currently teaching adults (mostly IEP), although in the past I taught elementary and middle school (in Asia). I kinda miss the really young ones cos they’re just so fun. You?
April 14th, 2015 at 7:33 pm
Pretty much exactly the same. I taught everything from kindergarten to adults in Korea for 9 years, then moved to Iowa where I’m teaching in a university IEP. I miss Korea a lot but I like the freedom I have here with the curriculum. I went to a lot of the IEP sessions so it’s possible we were in some of the same ones.
April 14th, 2015 at 9:20 pm
Well, see you next year if we’re both there!
April 15th, 2015 at 10:06 pm
Yep, I’m hoping to go to the one in Baltimore. Of course, a lot can change in a year, so who knows. Stephen Krashen is one of the keynote speakers there so I really want to go. He’s an amazing speaker.
April 11th, 2015 at 1:48 pm
Your perspective changes. Very interesting and true, David. Congrats on the new blog! Change and branching out is good. I will stay tuned.
April 11th, 2015 at 2:13 pm
I like the line…”It depends on our viewing position”…which I believe can pertain to most anything. I enjoy this blog and I’m looking forward to it’s “baby brother”. Incidently, the photos are great.
April 13th, 2015 at 8:30 pm
Thank you so much. It’s true that perspective is huge in so many areas of life. For instance, I think our interactions with other people would change greatly if we knew their perspective on life and we could see we’re all basically the same.
April 11th, 2015 at 8:33 pm
This will very be interesting. 🙂 Looking forward to viewing your new ‘baby brother’, David. 🙂
April 13th, 2015 at 8:33 pm
Thanks, Joyce. My plan is to write a few essays first so I can establish a regular posting schedule. I’m not sure when it will be, but soon, I hope.
April 26th, 2015 at 8:16 pm
Sounds interesting David….looking forward to checking out your new writing venture…:)
April 26th, 2015 at 9:09 pm
Thanks, Kim. I’m waiting until I have a bit more time before I launch it, maybe in another month.
April 26th, 2015 at 11:06 pm
Okay..all the best..:)