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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Perspectives


Nothing is just what you see!
Your eyes deceive you.
Your camera deceives you even more.

You see what you choose to see. You leave out what you don't like, what doesn't fit in your scheme of things. You edit all the time. Even when you don't do it on purpose. You are a merciless Editor!

And this brings me to Writing Your Life Story.
Which is my topic for this Sunday.
A meditation topic.
A heavy, crushing topic.

Let me explain.  I am reconstructing my life story. Some of you have actually followed along and read this piece or that.   ( If you are curious, follow this link). You have assumed, rightly so, that everything I write is TRUE.

This needs an explanation.

If one of my brothers or cousins were to write these same pieces, they would have a different story all together. First, because their life experiences have been different. Secondly, their emphasis would be different.  Their purpose in writing would be different.

Also, I wrote from the perspective of an old woman looking back, in time and space, and language.  How much do I really remember?  How much has been transformed by my home-sickness? How much are the rantings of someone who moved away when she was so young?

Your children and spouse(s) will have a different take of today than you do.  You might remember the meal you prepared, the flowers you placed on the side table, the weather outside. They will remember the comment you made about their hair, the rebuff they received from their sibling, the fight they had for the remote control.

We are singularly selective and unique in our perspective-the scenes we describe, the mood we paint, the words we string together.  We are storytellers.

Most of all, we are always changing lenses, depending on the mood of the moment.

It is this ability of ours that makes us so interesting.

35 comments:

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Perspective and the various stories from slightly different points of view always intrigues me. It is one of the major founations from which I base my teachings. I love it when the light bulb goes on and a student realizes the meaning of subjective and sees something from someone else's POV.

I have problems with English teachers who think there is only one theme or one way of interpreting any story.

lakeviewer said...

Oh my! Yes! I used to have my students retell a famous scene from another character's point of view, just to get this point. If only we teach history this way too.

lakeviewer said...

PHST, if you do get up to Oregon, holler! Please!

Wander to the Wayside said...

That's why I asked you one time if your memories were actually YOUR memories, or second-hand memories as told by someone else, as when you're looking thru photos and someone says 'remember when...'! It is indeed intriguing how we all view the same incident differently, which is why witnesses to an auto accident might tell totally different stories.

I have learned so much from you and thru your story-telling, Rosaria, more than I could ever express. My biggest problem, as you know, is that I have so many memory gaps, and no one to fill them in. I've tried sitting down and at least doing a time-line of MY memories, and then comparing them with a photo, but some of the memories attached to whatever is happening in the photo are, I feel, conjecture on my part! My grandsons are always saying "mawmaw, when you were young, bla bla bla", and it drives me crazy to say "well, I'm not sure, but I have a photo that makes it look like I bla bla bla"!

Anyway, I do so enjoy this kind of post, as well as what you post on your other blog. Thanks!

Linds said...

So true. We each have our own perspective of any one event. And so we are all unique in our memories. Excellent point!

Marguerite said...

You are so right about storytelling. Different perspectives belong to the beholder. You are a wonderful writer and btw, you are NOT old!

Diana said...

So true....so wise. One of the greatest gifts I have received this lifetime is the knowledge that my perspective is only that, not truth, not even fact, but just my experiences through my own filters. And the ability, at least some of the time, to know that is what all opinions and perspectives are. It has brought me a lot of peace, and the ability to take things less personally.

Lyn said...

So true Rosaria ... I think that is why people are sometimes hesitant to document their life's experiences. They are afraid of the potential criticism and conflict that may ensure. But I have learned that we all have our own truth and we are entitled to our memories. That is why they are called memoirs ...

I enjoy your reflections and with the benefit of years passing and experience, a layer of richness is added to your lens ...

jinksy said...

Viewpoint is the sixty four thousand dollar word...

Brian Miller said...

so true...we all add our own flavor to the chili of life with our perspectives...and ours may change over time...or even over a day...and sometimes we even get to share them...

Helen said...

Dear Rosaria,

One of your most interesting and insightful posts ... something for all of us to ponder. I kept a journal through the last five years of my mother's life ... I wonder how my siblings would write about those years.

Enchanted Oak said...

It's the blind men trying to identify an elephant by feel. One feels the trunk and decides it's a serpent. One feels the shoulder and thinks it's a monster. One feels the tail and believes it is a giant rat. All three of them are right and not true at the same time.

becky at abbeystyle said...

Totally true. I've been listening to the different ways I tell the same old stories to different people. Happily, I'm glad to say that my views have become more positive and my childhood (though it wasn't) sounds like a fairy tale.

Eva Gallant said...

A very thoughtful and intelligent comment. We all bring our own perspectives to life. And you're right; other's recall the same incidents with different results. I still love your story!

potsoc said...

Objectivity is a fleeting concept.

Hilary said...

So true. EVERYTHING is a matter of perspective. Great photo to depict this fine post.

willow said...

Excellent post. We are all editors, coming from different perspectives. It's the delicious textures of life.

Kathleen said...

So true! Well put!

Sophia said...

I really enjoyed this post. You are so correct on the fact that we all have our own perspectives on memories/events that have happened. This one did trigger some emotion for me, considering my own personal stuggles in life. But I love how you write and what you write about. I love how real you are. You are an amazing woman!

Tabor said...

I have enjoyed this post very much because it is all truth. My husband will remember something totally different from an event that we shared than I remember. I wonder if our memories are selective to protect us. It is kind of unsettling that they are not complete.

NitWit1 said...

I first encountered this dilemma in journalism classes where we strived for neutrality--to quote a popular TV news channel--fair and balanced (which they are not...but do present two points by having guests whose perspectives are opposite.)

What is more interesting are the reports of various news entities for the very same story. What did each pick as the lead-in as the most important part of a story? etc... sometimes I wonder if the various reporters were at the same meeting! But that is perspective!

And we are no different as bloggers. Interestingly there are blogger families. Perspective is really interesting in those settings.

Ocean Girl said...

This post is so interesting and true. Thank you.

I find this with my "writing" aka "blogging". One ingredient that cannot be changed though, if you are telling a lifestory, is honesty. The perspective may change but it is still the truth.

Moannie said...

You are right,Rosario, in fact I prefaced my Family History with much the same words.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

How very true this is. Everyone has a different take, different perspective on the same thing. Interesting yes, and sometimes frustrating.

Robyn said...

This is a very accurate description of what it is to be human.

Well said.
I think that once we understand this aspect of ourselves it is very liberating.

love to you
Robyn

Rob-bear said...

Everything takes place in a context, which is as multi-faceted as life itself. We need to remember context, as you have rightly said.

Strangely, I am reminded of a some lines from Simon and Garfunkel, in the song, "The Boxer."

All lies and jest,
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
and disregards the rest.


Life may not be "all lies and jest," but the rest is right.

Woman in a Window said...

We are singularly selective and unique in our perspective.

Holy holy truth. And then yes, too, Rosaria, how we ourselves re-see our lives. I am doing this even now and in my doing so, it is like getting to the end of a movie like the Usual Suspects and learning who Kaiser Soase is (or however you spell his name). Photography is a wonderful analogy, as we always impose our filter.

Love the image accompanying this. It is beautiful.

xo
erin

the walking man said...

without the separation of memory we would have nothing to make us different one from the other. I don't want or need anyone to remember an event the way I do.

lakeviewer said...

Wow! I read and re-read your comments and something amazing happened to me: I thought I said what I knew about perspectives and here you go exploring too, and I'm enlarging my viewfinder, adjusting my lenses again, reflecting more and more.

We do add to our experiences by sharing perspectives.
If we could only do it this openly about everything else.

Love you guys! Thanks for the visit.

Lori ann said...

yes indeed. this is life. each of us has our own truth. and it is very interesting.

GYPSYWOMAN said...

ditto all above, lady! great post!

RNSANE said...

I certainly agree with this. Different things matter to each of us and, of course, cause us to react differently to our worlds, even within tight knit families. Bravo for the differences which help keep things from becoming too boring. It is good when we can appreciate and respect the perspective of others.

Reya Mellicker said...

I always say that when I went through psychotherapy, I literally changed my own history. What is "the truth?" I mean you could say that you were once president of the U.S. That would definitely NOT be true, but for most of life's experiences, it isn't so clear cut!

She Writes said...

Ho3 right you are!

Midday Escapades said...

This is so right on. Perspective is everything!

Appreciate your comment at my blog about Eva's feature too.

Lynn
http://www.middayescapades.com