There’s a group of folks in town that want to make a talking “Jerry Doll”. Pull the string and the doll says one of several quotes which I guess I’m known for.
“What’s up big guy?” is one.
“That’ll put a biscuit on the table,” is another.
“I guess I’m here for a season,” is another. And it’s this one that’s gotten some conversation going on Facebook. So what do I mean? Well from some of the comments I’ve gotten, it’s apparent that several folks have misunderstood what I mean. I’m not saying they’re stupid and therefore misunderstand…just saying I must not have done a very good job of ‘splaining myself. So I’ll try here.
Here’s one comment I got:
Yes, but what’s the definition of a “season”? My conversations about that term with you were always a bit vague…I think you like it that way!
Well, not really “like” it that way. At least if you mean that I’m being deliberately vague. But face it, trying to time something for “a season” is vague. When you talk about a baseball “season” or football “season”, everyone kind of knows roughly what period of time on the calendar you’re talking about. But it’s still vague. Unless you’re a sports fanatic, you can’t really tell me the date and time that baseball “season” starts.
Another comment I’ve gotten is:
Vague is correct. But with a waitress you understand its till her shift changes. With the calendar its grouped in thirty day increments for one.
I agree, but I’m not talking about what time a person has to go to work or even get off work. I’m not even talking about the fact that my bills are due on the 30th of the month. Yes, there are sometimes that we need to be specific when a certain event will happen and we need to have a pretty good idea of when it’ll be over so we can plan other work or activity around something. Hell, it’s only courteous to be able to tell people, “I’ll get done with this shoot at 5 and I’ll be over at 5:30”. But again, I’m not talking about work schedules when I talk about a “season”.
Another comment I received:
With people in your lives its more uncertain and if they only can say a season. That’s too vague to invest hearts and time into.
Well, OK. I can see that…I think. But what would you rather have someone say instead? “I’m in this relationship for ten and a half years”? Obviously not. You want to be in that relationship until it reaches it’s end…however that end may come. Even if you’re in a relationship that comes to fruition in a marriage that lasts 50 years before someone in the relationship dies, then well, that relationship lasted for a “season” and now the season is over. See what I mean?
Another comment I’ve gotten is:
Most people have to create a calendar of sorts. It helps them function and give meaning to their time.
This is very true also. Humans, at least this human that’s writing this, has a finite mind. I need a beginning, middle and end to things to help me keep my life somewhat free from chaos. That’s why I keep a clock going on my cell phone. My finite mind needs to somehow keep in sync with other finite minds.
But I believe in a Creator. The Creator I believe in is infinite. I can’t wrap my brain around “infinite”. I believe the Creator is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. If the Creator is all present, all powerful and all knowing, then the Creator knows what’s in store for our future. He (or She if you prefer) can see into all our tomorrows…something we can’t see. I believe the Creator has plans for us that are not revealed to us until it’s time for them to happen.
I’m sure you would understand me if I said, “I’ll live in Asheville as long as the Creator wants me here”. I doubt if you’d have a problem with that.
Well, me saying that I’m living in Asheville for a “season” is the same thing. I’m here until the Creator tells me it’s time to go somewhere else. And that might be tomorrow…or it might be 50 years from tomorrow…I just don’t know. And be honest…you don’t know what your future holds either.
You may say, “Tomorrow I’ll go to Charlotte” and your car blows up tonight. There’s only so much within our control and that’s not very much to begin with. The Creator is in ultimate control of everything…at least I believe He is.
So, how long will I be in Asheville? Until I’m carried out of town on a Grayhound or a pine box. When will that be? I don’t know. Neither do you. Neither does anyone. I hope to be around Asheville for a long, long time though.
Jerry Nelson is a freelance photojournalist living in Asheville, North Carolina. He has traveled the world documenting the tears, joys, laughter and lives of people everywhere. He currently focuses his camera on the same topics in America. His work has appeared in such diverse publications as USAToday, CNN, Upsurge, Dream Row and others. A portion of his income from each photo shoot is donated to organizations that help the homeless in the communities in which he works. You can see more of his photography by clicking here.