“For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are.”
It happens a lot to me in photography.
I walk one way down a long forest trail, consuming all the life, light, and lure it has to offer me. And then, when I’m certain I’ve captured all its goodness, I turn back on the very same trail — pressing my feet into the boot marks I left only minutes ago — and it’s as if I’m now walking through an entirely new landscape.
The trees rise and reach out their branches differently. The sunlight peeks through in dissimilar ways — causing distinct shadow lines to be cast on the forest floor. The rocks enlarge their chests to grab my attention or deflate further into the terrain. The sky presents itself in different hues than before.
And yet, nothing actually transformed itself — only my perspective changed.
By turning my back from it and turning my front toward it, everything appeared unexplored to me from my new point of view.
. . .
To me, it’s a simple reminder that we often look at the exact same shapes, shades, and sizes in life — the same people, politicians, protests, pandemics, prices, etc. — and we process them in very different ways, depending on the trail that led us there.
But I don’t need to begin with the assumption that your view is worse than mine — or even wrong. I can begin with the awareness that it’s just different in many subtle and significant ways. Because then, I’m able to better enter and explore our world from your vantage point.
And who knows?
Maybe even a slight shift in my perspectives might cause a slight shift in my perceptions.