October 23, 2021
Reflections, Day 15,
I have long considered perspective to be the art of stance. The view can change dramatically as your position shifts.—Tom Schulz
“Perspective as the art of stance.”
I would never have thought of “Stance” as an art form. Of course, it makes sense. But point-of-view and perspective can be multi-faceted, moving from the visual through the literary, past the musical, and into the philosophical. I have a story that makes it clear.
I was working for a lady who was rather particular about things. She appreciated art in her own personal way that I never quite understood.
I was the “garden guy” and she was intent on placing a heavy wrought-iron bench so that it was triangulated with two ornamental trees. That was easy. I measured between the trees, found the center, and measured a perpendicular line out to where the bench would sit. It made a perfect equilateral triangle from the tree trunks to the center of the bench.
That bench was not one of the aluminum reproductions, either. It was a very original wrought-iron. My helper friend and I carefully and laboriously positioned the bench perfectly. I went to get the lady for her approval.
She came out and looked at it. She said, “That’s not right. Move it a foot to the right.”
“Are you sure?” I asked. She nodded an affirmative.
I moved the bench to the right and looked at her inquisitively.
“Yes,” she said. “That’s exactly right.”
I stood in the middle of the sidewalk and said, “come over here and look.”
She moved to that position. “No, that’s not what I want. I want it in the center between the two trees. Can’t you understand?”
We moved the bench back to where I had put it to start with.
“Now it’s in the right place. That’s how I want it to be. I want it to be in the center no matter where I’m standing.”
I don’t remember how that story ended but I’m sure it had something to do with me looking at the ground and quietly shaking my head.
Power to the patient.
Photo by Tommy Cobb