My View is Not Your View

This photograph speaks to me on many different levels. Each time I look at it, I try to figure out all the reasons why. I’m going to list my thoughts, and please share yours on what this photograph does for you.

The sunlight coming in gives hope and a feeling of happiness, but the darker surroundings, and the bare bushes create a sense of loss or sadness.

The neat and tidy bricks, clean and glowing in the sunlight appeal to my joy of order in life. The metal banister on each side contributes to boundaries and almost gives you tunnel vision, causing you to focus on the person.

The person, definitely a man in my opinion. Because of the bold stance, one hand in the pocket. If you look very closely, there may be another person standing to the right. That is something I just now noticed after viewing this several times over the past few weeks.

Now for the part that causes confusion for me. Does that walkway extend into the water, almost fading to the edge of the horizon?  Is it a seawall of sorts? Notice the calm waves to the left and the more turbulent water on the right. And if it’s a seawall, it must be high-tide.

Does this photograph give you a sense of happiness or doom? Is it hope, or hopelessness that you feel when you look at it?

When I view this, and I have many, many times, I feel as though I have been on a long, tightly controlled journey. At the end of that uniform, brick walkway, I stand and the options are open to me. There is a vast array of choices.Some of them are a bit chaotic, but there is hope, and a definite feeling of joy as I look at the brilliant rays trailing over the water. I have come from the darkness surrounding me, the gloom, and I have survived. For me, that partially submerged walkway means that there is direction and all I have to do is keep walking toward the welcoming light.

I know that many will look at this and think, “Yeah, it’s a person enjoying the sunset, nothing more.” That same person will think that the glass is half-empty.

For me, life is so much more enjoyable because of our abilities to see, hear, taste and smell. I know it is for most of us. But do we really use those senses as we should? Do we take full advantage of them on a daily basis? Probably not. Use your senses as you study this photograph. Hear the ocean waves, smell and taste the salt water in the air and on your tongue. Feel the breeze.

I love photographs and pictures that speak to me. I like to try to find the hidden meaning, or what the photographer or artist were thinking at the time that the work was produced. I like to ‘get’ what they were communicating.

This photograph is so much more than what you see. After all, my view is not your view. I think this scene could capture our Christian journey here on this earth. So much of our lives are a struggle, clouded in darkness and the daily trials and tribulations. But if your hope is in Heaven, you follow that brick walkway and the future is open and brilliant at the end of your journey. It can still be a little chaotic as you travel, but the path is there, and all you have to do is follow. The Son is beckoning.

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Solitude

I worked the night shift for a year, two years ago. I didn’t work full-time, and I am thankful for that. I don’t think I could have stood it as long as I did if I had worked a forty hour week.

I’ve never been much of a sleeper. Everything has to be about perfect for me to get a good night’s rest. The correct pillow, mattress, and room temperature. For me, around fifty degrees, snuggled under a bunch of covers works out very well. Then I sleep.

So, to have me up to work from 10 pm to 6 am a couple nights a week, usually meant no sleep for that day. By the time I arrived home, it was wake-up call for everyone else in the house at the time. Dark curtains at the window, and the temperature as cool as I could reasonably have it, didn’t seem to help when the sun was shining outside. After a year of that, I was pretty much exhausted.

What I loved about that shift was the solitude. In nursing, generally the patients and the residents are sleeping…until you go in to wake them up. Yes, I had tasks to accomplish before the next shift came in, but it wasn’t crazy with the hustle and bustle of day-time hours. The lights were low, it was quiet, and it was peaceful. Solitude.

For me, being alone isn’t a bad thing. I do appreciate my family and friends. I love a day away, or a few days when we can manage it, with my husband. An afternoon with a dear friend is very special. I look forward to our family times when we are all together, eating around the table or playing games. But I do enjoy the times like now, when I’m alone for a bit.

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Yes, I should be sleeping, and I will probably regret this decision to write at two in the morning. I’ll regret it when I’m at work later today, dragging through the last couple of hours until I can go home. But for now…it’s really nice. Just the hum of the ceiling fan, the air-conditioner coming on every now and then, and solitude. My mind works much better during these times. How about yours?

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