How People Think

I saw this graphic and smiled because I liked the image of a person with similar hair style as the tree top trying to understand the tree’s perspective on LIFE given its growth situation.howpeoplethink.png

Left to your own without the text, you can interpret the image itself in many ways, as I just did.

Then the text under the image may lead you in a direction that you hadn’t initially considered, and your mind then decides to settle on something in between the text meaning and your first impression of the image.

Is the text saying that we think the tree should be growing straight and true, but instead it is leaning leftward before reaching for the sky?  Is the person trying to understand that directional shift? It may not be growing as straight as we think that it should be but it is still growing and functioning. Does that mean that nature functions differently than we think that it should?

thoreau quote.jpgThese are all speculative interpretations. Much of life as we perceive it is due to our own interpretation of what we see around us. That personal interpretation is built on so many factors, like how safe we feel at the time, what kind of history we might have with a similar situation, who we are with, why we are in that particular location viewing what we are viewing, not to mention what we were once told about how we should view everything we see around us; i.e., are we tied to certain beliefs about our existence and our place in this wild and crazy world?

Personal attitude means everything in how we interpret our world. What are we looking to understand about our world? How much do we really want to know anything beyond how it directly affects us?

What is our attitude toward being in that particular situation or encountering something similar to it?

Why would we care or not care how the tree grows? Is that leaning a natural aspect of that particular tree’s upward growth? Is the tree overcoming a serious wound near its base that stunted the growth cells on one side but allowed full growth on the other side of it so that it grew abnormally stronger on one side than the other before self correcting a few feet  from the ground? Is this some metaphor on overcoming personal difficulties?

Again, why would we care?

To me, if the person in the image did NOT care, she would NOT be mimicking the tree lean. But that is also just my interpretation.

And if we, the perceivers of the situation did not care, we would ignore it completely and not give it a second thought. But to “ignore” the setting and situation refers again to the meaningful-silencetext message of the image: “The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think.”

So what did you think? Did you try to understand anything about the graphic itself, or did you just blow it off? Was it meaningless or meaningful to you?

And does it matter which it was?

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The Juxtaposition of Expectations

I was fascinated by this image—the subtlety—the softness—the ephemeral quality where the horizon is inferred yet not easily distinguished—and most of all, non pink flamingos.jpgwhere the expectation is reversed of seeing black flamingos against a pink background with a pink sun.

To me it is powerful on many levels: You have the incongruity of subject matter whose very name suggests a distinct color, you have the distinction of the silhouettes cast against the pastel backdrops, and beyond all of that, you have the mirror reflections of sky with birds crossing a suggested watery surface that gives the impression of floating above their own shadows.

My mind quipped, “It’s a juxtaposition of juxtaexpectations. Nothing here is what you expect it to be: not the sun, not the birds, not the sky or the water. You aren’t even sure where the horizon meets the sky.”

That’s what makes it so powerful.

It could be my Graphic Arts training, but when I see an image this strong and almost other-worldly it gives me pause to assess why it is so impactful.

True, there could be considerable image manipulation here through filters and color adjustments to achieve that unusual background hue, but compare the image above to a few additional images that cover the same subject matter, and then see for yourself how pastel sky waterthe photographer/artist really took the walking flamingos to a new level with his rendition of them.

flam sky.jpg

 

 

 

flockflaming in water