Rambling About Perspective

I should be doing homework right now, but I finally figured out how to say what was on my mind. So here I am writing this rather than an interview paper.

I like to make jokes about how college has taught me things like “time is irrelevant, sleep schedules are a myth, healthy eating habits are a joke, and it is perfectly reasonable to write papers twenty minutes before class.” All of which is true. But as the semester is coming to an end, I’ve realized that one thing college has taught me the most about is perspective.

Now, I am, at best, a mediocre artist (I could be better, but I don’t put enough effort into it). But I took enough lessons and attempt it enough that I have a decent amount of knowledge about how art looks from a sketching perspective. You see, it’s all about shading. You have to decide where the light is coming from so that you know where to put the shadows. If you know where it’s supposed to be brightest then you can figure out where it is darkest. You bring dimension by highlighting certain parts and shading in around those parts, so that that the highlights are more noticeable. It’s all about knowing how light works and how to use shadows to make the light more noticeable.

This perspective on perspective has become more and more relevant to my life over the last three months. The focus is on the light, the light is the most relevant and vital thing. But you can’t ignore the shadows. In order for the picture to be complete, there have to be shadows. Some shadows are barely noticeable… others are black as the darkest night. Both bring out the light in different ways. Both are vital to a masterpiece.

We are full of shadows. Some are the shadows created by a tree on a bright day, you still see everything about the tree, the shadow hides nothing. In fact, the shadow creates the perfect outline of the tree. Other shadows are the ones in your closet on a starless night. There is no telling what it hides. It terrifies you. The people that try to help give you a flashlight and say, “There is nothing to be afraid of. Just shine the light in and you’ll see that it looks exactly like it’s supposed to and you have no reason to be scared.” They don’t realize that that’s exactly what scares you. That you’ll open your eyes, shine a light inside, and see exactly what you’re supposed to see. That this is what a closet is supposed to be like. That there is no monster to kill and you’re just scared of the dark.

This terrifies us because we can fight monsters, even kill them. But if it’s just a closet, there is nothing to fight, nothing to kill. It all belongs to you and you have to decide if you keep what’s in the closet or you get rid of it. It’s not easy to go through your closet. Somethings are easy to get rid of or keep, sure. But somethings are of great sentimental value and yet you know you can’t keep them, whether it’s because they don’t fit you anymore or because you simply don’t wear them and keeping them would be useless. Other things look old and worn, but you keep them because they keep you warm. Sure they don’t always look the best, messy from years of use, but there is no way you are parting from them. As hard as it is, you make progress and that’s what matters. Sure, you may keep a thing or two that you should get rid of, but it’s okay, this won’t be the last time you have to go through the closet. You’ll get there eventually.

It’s at this point, when you’re going through your closet, that people start giving you things, and they are usually really nice things that you want. But you don’t have room in your closet right now. Right now, putting new things in your closet is going to stop you from going through the rest of your closet. So, you say, “thank you, but no. I don’t have room in my closet.” But rather than just take the nice thing away, they tell you that they’ll make sure it stays available until you have room in your closet unless you say that you just don’t want it. The thing is, you want the nice thing, you want it a lot. You just can’t have it right now and you don’t really know when you’ll have the capacity for it. Now you’re at a crossroads: yes, you want the nice thing and yes, they are willing to wait to give it to you. But you aren’t sure when you’ll have the room, so maybe you should just tell them you don’t want it, then they can give it to someone else. So, you just sit in the closet and watch the person with the nice thing. You know, you have to decide what to do soon, but for a minute you just take a few deep breathes and think about anything else. That’s okay for the minute, just don’t stay there.

Now I’m sure you’re wondering what all this means, where it was all leading to. Well, me too. I’m still not sure what all is going to come of this, but somebody recently reminded me that someday this will all be worth it. That one day all this nonsensical stuff will become sensical stuff. I think we forget that sometimes. That things will work out, but more than that, they will be worth it.


And to end this rambling post, here are a few randomĀ pictures from this semester