Moment of Clarity

The elusive moment of clarity. As a university student, this is something I am constantly looking for. With the number of assignments and projects that must be completed in a semester, sometimes it feels like life is all about going from one moment of clarity to another.

At the first look, every project seems like a large intimidating brick wall standing in the path to your final goal. In order to conquer that brick wall, you arm yourself with knowledge. Knowledge from lectures, textbooks, and other resources. This background knowledge is the small tool that you can use to chip away at that wall. The knowledge is cloudy so it’s a slow process, but it still works. Eventually the wall gets thinner and brings hope that victory is near!

Just when progress is being made, the unthinkable happens. You realize that your tool becomes useless against that brick wall. You are so close yet so far away. The problem has become immune, causing you to be at a standstill. Stuck. This is when panic sets in as you realize that the deadline is inching closer and closer, yet all progress has ceased due to that brick wall in your way. Panic is accompanied by frustration. A number of different approaches are used to try and break down the problem. To break down that wall.

At the very last second, that moment of clarity makes its appearance. Everything falls into place nicely and it all makes sense! You realize that a small error or misstep was what was preventing the problem from being solved. The moment of clarity allows the wall to be torn down completely. It is followed by relief and joy. The rest of the road is smooth sailing to the finish line. Bam! That task that initially appeared like a large menacing dragon turned out to be a small friendly puppy.

Unfortunately the joy of completion of one project is short lived, as there is another project waiting for you. And the cycle continues.

As I write this, I am still looking for that moment of clarity for my final project that is due in a week. Anytime now…

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Merry Christmas!

It’s that time of the year again, the time to surround ourselves with friends and loved ones, to enjoy each others company, to be thankful for all we have and to look back at the past year. Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season!

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Sacre Coeur Basilica (Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand)

My submission is of the Sacre Coeur basilica located in the heart of Montmartre, taken from my trip to Paris this past summer. Personally, it is one of my favourite pictures from the trip, but perhaps that is also because it brings back nice memories. For me this moment  had that “wow factor”, and while a picture is worth a thousand words, it is still not enough to describe a feeling.

Sacre Coeur basilica, Paris, France

Sacre Coeur basilica, Paris, France

The basilica is located on  top of a hill at the highest point of the city, visible even from the top of Notre Dame’s towers. Standing next to the basilica and looking straight up, I couldn’t help but marvel at its beauty and grandeur. For a moment time stood still and there was nothing to worry about, no place to hurry to, no other thoughts to occupy the mind, the most important thing at that moment was just being there and enjoying and appreciating the moment. I was already amazed and I hadn’t even stepped foot into the Sacre Coeur yet!

So let’s just say I was blown away when I walked in. The word “perfect” is not good enough to describe that moment, that feeling. The entire inside was beautifully decorated, and there was not one spot that was unaccounted for in the design. And to top it all off, in the evening that I was there, a ray of sunlight was shining in through the stained glass windows, casting a colourful light on one of the icons. No photography was allowed inside, but it’s probably better that way, as I doubt a photograph can capture that magical quality of standing inside the basilica.