Friday, July 03, 2009

Perspectives...

So why is it that most of the sea kayak images on this blog are of a yellow Current Designs Solstice GTS? Well, it's because the camera is most often in the hands of the paddler in the mint-coloured CD Solstice GT. So yes, the reader of this blog is admittedly getting a bit of a one-sided perspective on our life on the water.

I will admit to being rather keen (OK, really keen) on being the designated "camera person" - after all, I know what images I want to capture. In the case of this one, the water had a wonderful texture - windblown with just a little tidal confusion to create little "peaks and potholes" amidst the deeper troughs and foamy crests. (I tried to capture one with J's kayak completely hidden in a trough - without losing the camera or having to initiate a self-rescue!) It's all, therefore, a matter of perspective. If J had been holding the camera, she might well have focused on something quite different. Perspective is about "point of view" which is a lot about context - what we value and where we find meaning.

Here's an example. Depending on your perspective, a week of rain could be a very welcome event. For me, personally, I would really welcome serious precipitation here where we live on Vancouver Island. The woods are exceptionally dry and the fire hazard very high. Rain doesn't hinder kayaking or trail running on Mount Tzouhalem in the least - no issues for me at all. So, from my point of view, we need rain - and lots of it! Having said that, another person, planning an outdoor wedding reception for this weekend would be very unhappy about the possibility of rain which might well put a "damper" (sorry, couldn't resist) on the festivities. It's all about perspective...and what we value and where we find meaning.

In my vocation, I am sometimes called upon to try to help mediate between differing perspectives - occasions when folks disagree on some issue and when relationships subsequently become vulnerable to the inherent stress of conflict. I always find that it is helpful when the two parties gain a understanding of the context of their respective positions. It's easy, for example, to understand why one might be quite relieved to have a week of heavy rain. It's also easy to understand why another would hope for bright sunshine and continued high temperatures.

If J had held the camera on the paddling day featured above, she might well taken more images of the intertidal life, or the intricate patterns on the sandstone shores, or of the ever-changing patterns of clouds, or - just maybe - a few pics of her beloved spouse in the mint-coloured kayak!

Perspectives are important - we all have them, on any number of issues under the sun. The important thing, I think, is that we take the time to understand the context of each others point of view. Put together, like a photographic collage, our differing perspectives tell a fuller story of who we are as we relate to one another. Taking time to understand one another in this world, and being less judgemental of one another, would be a good thing...a very good thing.

Just a thought,

D.

3 comments:

  1. Yes we certainly do all have our own perspectives in life and I am sure in your ministry you find yourself hearing many peoples ideas and thoughts! Probably more than you want to hear. LOL I know what a great listener you are and how open you are to others thoughts and beliefs. A good example to us all.

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  2. Hi Anon,

    Being part of a community of good listeners teaches us all many lessons. Most of all, how affirming it is to be heard.

    Bless you.

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  3. ...and how liberating it is to be willing to listen.

    John C.

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