In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Friday, August 05, 2011

In Others' Words: Vision

'Optical illusion' photo (c) 2007, Michael Condouris - license:

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." ~Henry David Thoreau, author

I am not a huge fan of optical illusions. When I look at them, my brain screams, "Something is not right with this picture!" Or else I'm thinking, "What is it the artist wants me to see that I'm not seeing?"
Rather than enjoying optical illusions, my mind is scrambling to make the picture right. Fix it. Make it work.
Maybe if I relaxed, allowed myself to go with it--whatever "it" is--I could relish unraveling optical illusions as much as, say, my husband does. Or all of my children do.
I limit my vision--my ability to see--when I get all caught up in the "rightness" or "wrongness" of what I'm seeing. 
Okay, I understand that there are some unbreakable truths. Grass is green. (Well, except when you don't water it.) And the sky is blue. (Except right before a thunderstorm.)
As a writer, I've learned that I'm more creative when I shrug off the "must-dos" and embrace the "why not try this" moments. When I look at a scene that's not working and--instead of focusing on everything I've done wrong, I see what's working and build on that.
Or consider relationships. 
Sometimes relationships feel like that photo looks. Off-kilter. Out of whack. Who took that photo anyway? But step back and think about it. Is that house really leaning? Or did someone have fun, tilt the camera, and take a silly photo?
Is that a wasted shot? Or a fun memory?
Is an off-kilter not salvageable--or merely in need of an adjustment?
I don't know, you tell me. What do you see?

In Others' Words: We hear about the value of vision--but do we stop and think about what guides our vision? Is it really what we look at--or all our experiences and circumstances--even what's happening right here and now--that determine what we see?

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At 3:11 AM, Blogger Jeanne T said...

What a fun pic, Beth. :) Great post, too. I also have a habit of getting caught up in what's wrong and wanting to make it right. I really like the perspective you shared for writing a scene that's not coming together. Find what's right and work with it. I need that shift in thinking sometimes.

As for your questions, it seems like the experiences and circumstances I go through are filtered through my perspective, and my mindset. When I have an accurate perspective, focused more on Jesus than on me, I tend to see "life" through a lens of rest and trust. When I see it through worry about how it will affect me, it shows in my words and actions. Thanks for making me think about this.

At 7:27 AM, Blogger Wendy Paine Miller said...

This reminded me of how the entire vision of my day is changed, altered for the better when I stop to take just a few moments to connect w/ God after I wake up.

~ Wendy

At 12:47 PM, Blogger Reba J. Hoffman said...

If she just had a slice of DiGiorno in her hand she'd be the leaning tower of Pizza! Seriously, this really is a great illustration of the life of a writer. I especially love your transparency regarding getting caught up in the "rightness" or "wrongess" of something and missing the message.

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

I love reading everyone's comments, even when I don't get to them as quickly as I hope. It's been more of a mom-day than a writer-day.
But your comments expand my vision.
Thank you.


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