From the perspective of plants

In my photography, I tend to seek the perspective of the thing I’m photographing – more often than not, plants of different kinds. Or, you know, living organisms.

That is, how does this cone “see the world”? I know it hasn’t got eyes, but it lies there on the ground, and that defines its relation to the world. That’s where the light hits it, and that’s where it rests on a dead, lichen-covered twig.

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Or this mushroom. From a human perspective, it hardly even exists, because it’s so small and so camouflaged by its bland beige colour. But from its own perspective, it’s at the centre of the world, and at this precise moment, the sun hits it straight in the “face”.

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Last night when I lay crawling in the dirt to snap these pictures, it dawned on me that this is what I always do in the rest of my life as well. When someone I know picks up a book I’ve written, I need to skim through at least certain chapters just to see how they might read it – I read with their glasses on, so to speak. From their perspective.

And what’s worse, in discussions and arguments, I’m so prone to taking in what my opponent means that I lose sight of my own opinions. I’m caught off guard by the conviction with which they contradict me – as if blinded by their stronger aura.

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And this is the only reason I’m dreading the defense of my dissertation. I know what I’ve done, I know the strengths and weaknesses in my studies, and I can reason around it in a fairly intelligent way. But if my opponent says something really smart and challenging (and she will, because she’s the smartest and most challenging person I’ve ever met), I might clam up. I might forget the whole point of my dissertation. I might even forget my own name.

And so I’ll babble instead. And sweat. 😀

What I need is a shield – something to stand between me and the other person’s perspective, so that I can look at it from a distance, assess it, and then respond in a calm fashion, like, you know, a completely normal person. Something to hoodwink their bright light somewhat.

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Oh well. I’ll babble. Worse things have happened. And I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of my curse of seeing things from other people’s perspective. I’ll just have to accept that when the debates rage around me, I’ll be like a tree in a storm: tossed this way and that – but hopefully with my roots firmly in the ground so I can regain my bearings afterwards!

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