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A casual gamer I may be, but my heart nearly stopped when I turned on my XBox 360 one night after I got all comfy and cozy to play in a Table Tennis tournament…Instead of the familiar XBox 360 logo and sound, I was greeted by a visual and audio void…just flashing red lights emitting from around the power button. I knew it had to be bad. After a few minutes of research online and a subsequent troubleshooting session, I was able to determine that the Ring of Death had taken the life of my eight-month-old console.

Thank the stars above, the trouble shooting indicated that my hard drive was unscathed and intact. It doesn’t take away the loss, though. More than a few times since that awful night, I went into the den to play but only to be sadly reminded by the blank space on my entertainment center that there will be no gaming. The dead console packed up and shipped away to Microsoft the very next day, all and all I had about three weeks to wait for my refurbished unit. This time, I’ll buy the warranty!

Who would have thought this casual gamer’s lifestyle would become so cramped without her 360? I surely didn’t see it coming.

Given current events (and past, for that matter), maybe it’s not so plain and simple. In the grand scheme of this infinite universe, I am but a human being. A small fry. Insignificant. And, let’s not forget, mortal. I am, however, along with my fellow man, equipped with a unique and powerful quality: the ability to think rationally. It follows that because of this difference, I am hugely different from other life forms and not that different from my same-made peers. So why do so many of us continue to behave as if we can’t control ourselves, often never claiming responsibility or that it is out of our hands and lies in someone else’s, worldly or otherwise? Surely, toxic emotions, weakness and, yes, even evil can hijack rational thought from our normal selves. But that’s precisely why we are humans, isn’t it, to take it to the next level, to be able to wrestle and defeat these adverse obstacles? I happen to think that is our ultimate assignment.

I’m not sure what stirred the desire to photograph crosses in my neighborhood, but one day, when I was looking at things differently, I heard the “calling” and they seemed to be everywhere I turned. I’m fascinated by the symbol: it’s awe inspiring, especially against a naturally polarized blue sky marked with heavenly clouds. And they become beautifully ominous when shot in black and white. At the time I was not a practicing Catholic. I grew up under the influence of a traditional, Catholic mother. But as the fifth child, she didn’t push me to go to church or get confirmed once I expressed, at a ripe age of 12, that it was “boring” and “do I really have to go?”. This was mainly due to (I think, any way) to my placement in the birth order — and her being older and just plain tired from her own private battles, thus the lack of discipline to keep me on task. No matter, she instilled the values of Christianity in me through daily life. And now, since writing this post, I no longer watch from the borders, finally returning to His open fold to complete that which was started many years ago. The cross, one of the most simply dramatic symbols, epitomizes this complex and far reaching faith in God in two simple geometric lines. Now I look for this symbol reaching toward the sky whenever I’m on the road, especially in my town. They are everywhere.

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