Perspectives

The dappling of sunlight upon the stony ground beneath a small tributary, unnoticed designs writ upon the brow of the Earth by way of a magic no more complicated than water’s ability to focus and defocus light simultaneously.

Sunlight dapples upon the stone floor beneath water streaming through a small tributary (20080426_04782)

Does understanding the cause of such beauty somehow taint its loveliness?

The answer rests in your perspective.

The remnant of a bygone era dredged to the light of day by digging, the very act of bringing to the surface the secrets which lie buried beneath.  Rested upon sand and stone, my eyes lingered upon this relic for longer than anticipated, and certainly no other noticed it.

A pull-tab from a drink can resting atop the stony and sandy remnants of plumbing work (164_6421)

What intrigue explodes from nothing more complicated than workmen doing a job?

The answer rests in your perspective.

A man wanders to the edge of the creek and pauses, his mind a jumbled puzzle of thought and emotion, his whole world outlined by the belief that he is isolated and deserted.  Yet he is not abandoned even in his despair.  An American coot paddles close to share in that aloneness, to offer up the silent gift of understanding.

A man crouches on the bank of a creek at White Rock Lake, deep in lonely thoughts with only a single American coot (Fulica americana) to keep him company (20080202_01772)

Or is it that the bird hopes for a handout from the stranger, wishes for a bit of food to be tossed out as a treat?

The answer rests in your perspective.

Like a nightmare from a Hitchcock film, a gull demands attention, its mouth agape, its wings held just right to capture the wind, its body floating effortlessly atop the hidden tower of magic that allows it to do that thing we humans envy most: fly.  It brags in the resounding voice of those who can.

A juvenile ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) in flight as it demands a meal (20080114_01228_p)

Could it be this display means more or less?  Could it be this bird has reasons unannounced for its profoundly eloquent display?

The answer rests in your perspective.

Upon a lonely mountaintop rests this small turtle, its form reduced against the backdrop of a titanic log that dwarfs the young reptile until it becomes minute, insignificant, barely noticeable.

A small red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) atop a proportionally massive log (20080405_02969)

How could such a diminutive creature rise to such heights?

The answer rests in your perspective.

What murder hid in suburbia’s grasp?  What demons lurked before picket fences within the confines of winter laid barren and dry for all the world to see?  And do such monsters still exist, still cry their raucous cries and beat their black wings to darken the sky?

An American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) searching through winter grass in front of a classic white picket fence (20080203_01879)

Or is it but a crow seeking a bit of nourishment from dry grass just across the street from me as I sat on the porch enjoying the warmth of a cold day?

The answer rests in your perspective.

I said this once:

The world through eyes other than our own becomes a different thing.  When seen from someplace else, we become alien, different, unrecognizable.

That’s because we see things as we are, not as they happen.

Want to know what your life is like?  Ask those who observe it, participate in it yet do not own it.

We are what we do, not what we feel, not what we believe, not what we think.

Tinted by my own sense of self, life as I know it becomes unfamiliar when viewed from a perspective not defined by me.

Perception is a reality to which I subscribe.  No greater truth has any person than this: The real world is as we see it, and we see things as we are, not as they truly exist.  No greater power has politics or religion than this nature of humanity.

Our perspective draws its lifeblood from our perception, perception draws its lifeblood from heart and mind, and heart and mind draw their lifeblood from the whole of who we are, from experience to attitude to belief to spirit to will, and to places deep and dark and dangerous, places magnificent and memorable and meaningful.

We miss the stars because we do not see them for all the harm we do to the night sky, yet we do not miss the night sky for we have gone so long without it that it no longer matters.  In our missing of the stars we admit our lack of appreciation for what has never been known, what has been absent for too long.

And therein rests our perception, our perspectives.

Would that we could grow beyond this encumbrance, beyond these shackles that bind reality to a place far away from where we live.

4 thoughts on “Perspectives”

  1. LOL! You sassy gal!

    You’ll be surprised to know all of these pictures are old. I have thousands of photos I’ve not worked through yet, some of which will eventually wind up here. When they get posted doesn’t necessarily equate to when they were taken (not even relatively so; for example, that gull photo is from January 2008).

    That said, I tend to go early on the weekends when the weather’s warm since that’s the most comfortable time to walk. When it’s cold, I go later since that’s where the light is. I’m sure my Starbucks schedule will change a bit as the weather does, although work will keep robbing me of much of that time anyway. At least for now…

  2. I don’t care how old your photos are as every one of them makes my toes curl. Your photography is astounding.

    "We are what we do, not what we feel, not what we believe, not what we think."

    What an interesting perspective. I’ll be thinking about this post for a while.

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