Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lines All Over The Place

Ever wonder what the world would be like if we were we all headed in the same direction; kinda crowded right? Thought the same, talked the same, liked all the same foods, approached the world, lived our lives and beliefs all the same? Now I will admit that some of this might facilitate a much needed step towards peace but at whose expense? Let that one marinate for a bit.

This is a question that people struggle with in this melting pot called the "United" States of America. How can be truly be "united" as one if we are all heading if different directions as the lines on this photo depict. Americans who have enjoyed certain privileges also struggle with this notion of "same" as they size up the impact of their experiences against "change" and the perceived value of what is at personal stake for them. "Same" is easy but is it as beautiful? If these lines we are headed in the same direction then I would have never looked over the rail or pressed the shutter button. Think about the people in your lives who have had the most impact and been the most memorable; their lines are all over the place. We're not just a meat and potatoes society but we enjoy cuisines and artifacts that are truly representative of world cultures; their lines are all over the place.

What if these lines were all going in the same direction? What if there were no lines at all, just solid concrete reflected on stained or tempered glass. I for one am glad there are lines in this shot which peaked my interest, interest enough to whip out the camera and take a few random shots. If there we no lines in my view then my trip to India would be about geography versus different cultures and the 7th wonder of the world. In the words of Louis Armstrong "And I Think to Myself, What a Wonderful World". He saw the beauty in our lines being all over the place.

What if the lenses that we call our eyes saw all the same things? What if all photographers shot from the same angles and perspectives, all used the same camera along the same focal plane with all the same vision towards the world. That would definitely be a tragic situation. If truth be told these lines were all constructed in the same direction. It's just their experience in this case, the way they are reflected on the glass below or world if you will that adds to our experience of angles and variances. Their lines are all over the place.

We are all from the same creator yet we are all different based on how we are reflected on the world. Short, tall, black, white, Asian, etc, we are all reflections of God; our lines are all over the place.


Anonymous said...

The word united in the context of the United States of American means separate entities (States) joined in a common shared vision of a society that values justice, tranquility, and freedom. It means a union of people willing to protect and fight to defend the rights to live in a world where liberty, peace, and respect mean something. The word united in this sense does not mean clones without an original thought, but rather a union of people with the same core beliefs about democracy. Because of this shared vision, because of this sameness, we are able to express and live our diversities. So isn’t it interesting that our sameness has allowed us our differences? I find it odd that we fight so hard to tell the world how unique and different we are and then spend a lifetime searching for the one person who shares the same vision of a future as we do. We find joy when we discover another person who roots for the same team, has read the same book, seen the same movie, shared the same experience. When we find the person with whom it feels we share a soul, we marry them. We yearn for the commonalities as we proclaim our differences. If only we’d realize that we’re already unique by default. It only takes a strand of DNA to tell you that. Being different is easy… yes, it is beautiful, but so is sameness. In synchronicity and symmetry, there is also beauty. One of my favorite compositions is Pachelbel’s Canon in D. Same measure over and over. How do you teach a child? Repetition. Sameness. How do you learn to trust? Consistency of truth. Sameness. How do we live a life? One day at a time. Over and over. The sun sets and it rises. Sameness. I love the continuity in my life. I love the sameness and predictability. We live in a world of plurality, but we survive because we belong to a tribe… a tribe that shares common values, a tribe that will shelter us from the storm.

Shoei said...

I would not want to live in a world where everything is all the same and therein is the beauty of choice, differences, etc. You anonymous blogger can find peace in your continuity and I can find peace in my diversity of experiences.

Anonymous said...

...and because we both share the SAME belief that it is ok to be different, because we share the SAME belief that it is our right to have freedom of speech, you are able to post your comment. Again, it is our SAMENESS that allows us our differences.

Anonymous said...

...and one more thing, the photos made me smile because there is symmetry (sameness) in the lines together with a post about differences. In actuality, you could find more things the same with these photos than different.

I'm not saying one is more valuable than the other. Just saying ... see the beauty in the yin and the yang.

Coach4Divas said...

Another thought-provoking topic, Dave. :)

I wonder, are we confusing "sameness" with "conformity"? (God knows we can talk hours about that one!)

As you stated, we all emanate from the same Source. I heard Wayne Dyer put it this way, "We all came from nowhere to now here. And where are we headed? Back to no where."

In essence, we are all traveling to the same destination. (Now we can get into a lengthy discussion about life after death, but that's not the point.) We all will eventually be "gone" someday. That's our same/shared path.

HOW we choose to live on the path from now here to nowhere is where difference comes in. Anonymous feels that being different is easy. Yes, by virtue of our DNA, indeed it is.

But, we can all look around and see the struggle the "difference" has caused. In that search for "sameness" humans have conquered, enslaved and killed. If you are not like me, then you are WRONG. Every day we make judgments about someone's difference, because, sameness is well, safe. We ridicule the kid at school who dresses differently, counsel the employee who offers a challenging perspective to the status quo, talk about the neighbor who's lawn doesn't quite "measure up." We can belong to the tribe without it defining who we are or dictating how we live. And that's where things get messy is the balance of sameness and difference.

I loved what anonymous said about the lifelong search for the ONE. It made me laugh because while, true, it is completely counter to my experience. I wanted someone who would love my UNIQUENESS. We came from different family structures, grew up on opposite coasts, have very different tastes in music and food, are polor opposites politically and are even different races. Yet 20+ happy years later, our shared life/vision has been largely successful because we believed that differences we brought to the table would make the journey more fun. (Indeed it has.)

As I learn to embrace the concept of Oneness, I get excited about noticing the many different ways the Creator manifests Itself.

I also look forward to seeing the day the "United States" live up to the potential in which it was conceived.

Love the discussion!