Towards the end of the course we had a lesson on perspective. Drawing perspective is a very precise, technical process used to represent physical space accurately. It involves rulers and throwing out what you know about the world. You draw a diagonal line to represent something you know is a straight line because that is the way our brains know how that straight line fits into a scene. Most of us figured out in elementary school how draw a box this way, but in a more complicated way it’s what we use to represent city scenes and rooms. I’m more comfortable with abstract art and pretty colors. Rulers, straight lines, and measuring are not my thing. Precision? Not so much. But I opened myself up to the process, confident I would learn something.
The professor explained the process while simultaneously drawing. She stared straight ahead, picking a spot in the scene to be her vanishing point. She drew as she talked and explained how to do it, looking forward out the window. Then she looked away from the scene she was drawing and talked to us a bit. She returned her gaze to the horizon, tried to finish her drawing, and then gave up because it just wouldn’t come together correctly. She looked at us and said, “I must have moved to the left or right a bit. Then I looked back, I was looking at the scene from a different perspective, so the lines I started with stopped working.”
I literally gasped and asked, “You just move the tiniest bit and your perspective is totally new?!” She nodded. “Wow! That’s a great metaphor for life too!” I exclaimed.
In one way it’s such an obvious observation, but in another it was mind blowing. There are literally a gazillion-million perspectives. Maybe an infinite number. And if you shift, even a tiny bit, you can see a new one. At every moment a new perspective is possible. Wow!