Barcharts, Data, Leaves and Colors….

Everything has been a run-run-run mode for me over the last three weeks. Every time I turned around, there was something else that needed to be done and completed – and there simply was not enough hours in the day to do everything. This weekend, however, has been a complete opposite of all that. So far, I have had the opportunity to take a walk – even though it was a misty rain, I decided to go walking anyways. I have had the chance to sit down and do a few meditations – one guided and the other just me finding my center.

I’ve mentioned before, my job with the college is Data Analysis – essentially finding patterns in data that is gathered and compiled by the college. Its actually a lot fun – I get to try and talk to the database, and learn its query language, I get to look at the data that gets compiled, and try to find patterns to present to upper management. The challenge is not to present the material with my own bias. Just present the data and let them make their own minds up as to what it says or does not say. But I continually find myself putting the lessons I have learned in both Cat Treadwell’s Druidry class, as well as the lessons I have learned from the Gwers in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids’ Bardic Grade course into practice.

Data can be presented a variety of ways. You can put your own spin on what data points are important. You can highlight particular data points with certain colors in charts.  For instance, red is a major standout color – so any data point you may wish to highlight can be placed into that color mode. Also, if you wish to de-emphasis a data point, putting it into a grey color in that same chart can have a similar effect. The red color draws the eye, while the grey color is dismissed to some degree by the individual’s eye.

This fits some of the perspective in understanding and relating to one’s environment, in my opinion. Take a walk and just observe everything around you. Your eye will be drawn to the bright oranges and yellows of the changing leaves, but will you notice the more subdued colors of the branches and trunks as well? I’d wager that most people will not. Just as the eye is drawn to the budding colors of the emerging green leaves at the start of Spring or the full foliage in the start of Summer. The leaves get the press coverage because of the brightness of their colors played out against the browns, blacks and greys (for the most part) of their respective trees.

Have you ever noticed that many of the animals in the forest have coats of subdued colors? Many times, people will not even notice some animals are nearby because their eyes slide over the subdued colors. Instead, their catches on color and movement. When I was taking survival training in the United States Air Force, this was one of the lessons that was taught. Staying still and remaining in subdued colors will help you blend into the background far more than finding an excellent location to hide your entire frame. Patience and endurance are keys to learning that survival methodology.

To be completely honest, I never dreamed that my Druidry studies would show me a new way of looking at how my daily life ties so closely to my own immediate surroundings and environment. There are days that I wish I had uncovered this way of looking at Life when I was far younger – but then if I did…I wouldn’t be who I am now.


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