Levels of perspective.
Most of my posts are clean little clips from my mind: thrice considered, once written, unedited. This post is more off-the-cuff, and I’m not sure it has a point.
Today I saw my life entire.
Perspective is often touted as an entirely good thing. To “keep things in perspective”, meaning to think about its place within a larger whole, is something I’ve never heard negatively cast. I tend to disagree.
I am quite content in my life to wander up and down the perspective ladder. Sometimes I’m down at the level of finding the right word for the sentence, applying enough elbow grease to remove the single stain, etc. Sometimes I wander up a bit, thinking about a document I’m composing or a house I’m cleaning. Sometimes I climb way up and fit my tasks into goals that span years.
One of the miraculous gifts we mortals experience is the ability to take things out of perspective. No one moving pebbles wants to think about the mountain; it’s discouraging. There is a sweet relief in forgetting all about the larger picture for a time. Seeing everything in broadest perspective can reduce life to an endless series of pebbles.
That said, perspective is a wonderful thing. A life without regular meditation that at least sometimes rises above the day-to-day is something I hope never again to experience. To see the larger picture, to remind yourself what it’s all for, is vital. But is can also be unnerving; for example, this morning a meditation on the interrelation of three papers turned into the first view I can recall of my entire life. A forked, fuzzy view, but nonetheless. ’Twas odd.