A better perspective

Wandering through my images this morning, I came across this one, which reminded me of that Henri Nouwen quote I posted two days ago, the one about small slights and kindnesses looming larger than world catastrophes.

So what is it people say to us when we get unduly caught by the trials and tribulations of ordinary human interactions (caught in the sense of attachment; what Pema Chodron calls "shenpa")?  "Get over it!" "Rise above it!" "Look at it this way:" or, as they were fond of saying in my classes at Antioch, "Get on the balcony."

All of which comes to me because there are three photos in this series, taken from the dock at Waterfront Park on Bainbridge Island; each taken from a different perspective.  For this one I squatted low and shot across the bow of the dinghy.  For a second shot I stood but held the camera low, and for the third I held the camera high.

The higher the camera, the more the two boats come into balance; the more accurate the perspective.  And clearly, dropped to its lowest point, the shadow cast by the dinghy looms even larger than the dinghy itself.  So it's not just a matter of distancing ourselves from our challenges -- it really is a matter of rising above them -- not in a snooty, sort of "I'm more important than this" way, but rather learning to see as God sees, from a higher plane.

And I think the only way we can do that is to devote a certain amount of time to getting to know God better -- however you define God, and however you practice: meditation, awareness practice, prayer, mindfulness... all those things can help give us a better perspective.


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