When I look at the people around me and watch their reactions… to one another, to the ideas and feelings and viewpoints of others, to new experiences… the world appears to me as a giant sculpture, far too huge to be observed all at once. So grand in scale, that we as viewers may only study the most minute portion at any one time.
We humans stand looking at the area in front of us, the place where we landed, collecting information, studying the textures and lines, reading meaning into what we observe, finding the beauty and the pathos within our line of vision. Finding our truth. We all long to share our insights with our neighbors and turn to speak. Often we find that though we are standing looking at the same creation so close to one another, sometimes even touching, our description and theirs are different. Even just one step in either direction changes our viewpoint. I might see rounded curves and flowing lines. But my friend, not a foot away, unbeknownst to me, might see an entirely different angle of the same shape. The breathtaking sensuality of a curve that is the cornerstone for my thoughts may appear to those at my side as a harsh angle. And so it is, when we share our viewpoints and observation, the basis for our beliefs and ideas of how the world ‘is’, that we often find ourselves in disagreement.
“But this shape is soft, sensual, loving,” I say, certain of my truth.
“How can you say that!? That line is harsh, sharp and rigid,” proclaims my friend.
And so it goes on in our world, those farther away seeing even greater differences than my friend and I… Varying colors, textures, movement, shadows. And all of us coming to our own conclusions about the entire sculpture itself.
For those who like their place or simply never discovered that it is possible to move, their belief is certain; the entire piece must surely look the same as this. For those who have wandered, or been forced from their vantage points by circumstance, they understand that there is more, that perhaps what they know or can see is not all there is. And still there are those with imagination and courage, who open themselves further, often pushing themselves to change their positions purposefully, exploring beyond their original landing place. They listen to their neighbor’s description of what is real to him and accept it as a truth as valid as the one they hold or they force themselves to physically shift away from their spot even though it means never seeing their origins the same way again. How can one see in the same way after knowing a different side of truth?
Whether one stands still or has experienced other angles of life and the different viewpoints of those around them, I try to remember that this world, this life, time itself, is too vast for any one person to experience the totality of it all. And in that, even the most creative, travelled and observant, need to be reminded that in reality, we all simply know our minute eddies of individual experience.