Looking around us, it seems we’re inundated with extremes from almost every direction. This person thinks one way. That person thinks another. Then, of course, you’re forced to contemplate who’s right or wrong. That’s the way it works for most people. I learned a long time ago that there are essentially multiple truths in life, depending on your own perception of different situations.
If you want to believe something’s wrong, there’s plenty of time and space to do that. Want to believe it’s right? Plenty of time and space for that too.
As a photographer and designer, I constantly strive to find balance in the work I do. Why? Because anything else produces audience anxiety. While there are plenty of reasons to attempt to make your audience anxious, that’s not usually the goal. The goal is to create a piece that forces your audience to think. Something that has a different meaning for everyone. Something that constantly evolves, even though the work itself never really physically changes.
The photo above is a lantern I discovered this morning. It’s not made of anything special. Mostly paper and plastic. But yet there’ still something special about it. It’s symmetrical, dynamic, colorful and most importantly, interwoven. It’s interconnected. As are we all. With each other. With time. This planet. If you were to pull the components of this lantern apart, you’d have a long string of paper and plastic with a stark naked bulb, right in the center, shining harshly right into your eyes. As it is, it’s perfect. Round. Interwoven. Broadly casting a smooth, radiant light in every direction. It cannot be improved.
As people, sometimes we forget that we’re interconnected, much like this lantern. When we’re pulled to extremes in any direction, we fall apart, exposing the stark naked inner light we all possess. That light is unguided. Unpleasant. Unprocessed by the mind or the imagination. When we take the time to realize that the person sitting across from you at the table isn’t the enemy, your life takes on a completely different meaning.
Maybe that’s what we all need to remember. We’re interconnected. To each other. This planet. And all of the abundant gifts we’re given simply by being here. In the moment. No matter who you are or where you’re from, maybe that’s the lesson we were all put here to discover. Then maybe again, this is just a simple $10 lantern with no meaning at all.
I prefer a life with meaning. Maybe you do too.