Friday, August 12, 2016

Shifted Perspective


I have a random piece of paper sitting on my desk.  It is part of an envelope for my utility bill, according to the return address.  Written on it is a quote from Grey's Anatomy that I love:

"Sometimes a shifted perspective just lets us see what we've lost."

Some days I am desperate to have a change in perspective, since, as an art history major, I very much understand how looking at something from different angles changes things.

One of my favorite sculptures is called "The Burghers of Calais".

The background to this is that Calais was under siege by the English and told by King Phillip to hold out at all costs.  After over a year of holding off the English, Calais surrendered, unable to hold out any longer.  Six of the leaders of the city walked, with keys to the city in hand and nooses around their necks, to officially surrender to the English.  Their surrender and probable death was to save the rest of Calais from destruction.

The sculpture is brilliant.  Created by Auguste Rodin, it shows all six burghers in full round, each facing a different direction. Each bare a different expression, varying from righteous self sacrifice to utter despair to anger. 

Having only seen pictures, I am aware that my view is limited, but the beauty and feeling of it still strike me.  Every view is different.  Even just a small shift of a few inches one way or another changes what you see of each man. 

I have looked in vain for a picture that does justice to genius of this sculpture, but cannot find one that properly captures why I love it so much.  So, go search Google images and look at ALL of them.  It is the only way to really understand the magnificence of Rodin's brilliance.

The point of all this is that as we go through life, we change.  We grow, we lose, we find, we progress, we digress.  Every choice we make has an effect in our life, whether we can see it at the time or not.

And so often it is the tiny things we do every day that have the greatest impact on who we become and how we relate to the rest of the world.

Lately, there seem to be so many things that I have lost rather than gained.  I am working on a new view of the world, but can only see what will change in ways I am not looking forward to.  I cannot seem to find the good parts that will change.

Bizarrely enough, I still know that the changes I am making, the new perspective I am seeking, is the right thing for me right now.  It does not make things much easier, but it does give me space to grieve for the things I have lost and then let them go.

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