Wednesday, November 12, 2014

David From All Angles

Remembering names, specific details or direct quotes is not a particular skill of mine.

Consider yourselves warned.

I read a book recently. I can't remember the name or the author. I could whip out my iPad and check but what fun would that be?

In that book was a quote that really resonated with me. Unfortunately I can't exactly remember it. But I remember the gist of it which is all a girl of my memory skills can hope for.

The basic message was: we see the past head on but we only see the present in profile.

I do better with images so let's use David to help illustrate the point.

 The famous David head on (aka the past)

Same dude in profile (aka the present)

I don't know why I found that half memorized half made up quote so fascinating but it's been bouncing around in my head since I read it. 

At first I took it to mean that we see the past clearly but we are too close to the present to see it for what it is. We can't see the forest for the trees so to speak. 

Then I thought, well just because we can see David's face doesn't mean we have the entire picture. I mean what about the back of him? That's part of the story too right? Even looking at the past head on we only get part of the picture.

And then I thought about how, if you put five people in a room for a meeting, they will all come away with a different idea of what happened. Different interpretations. Different memories. Different ideas of what is important and what is expected of them. When they look back, they will see five different David's and will sincerely believe that their David is the real David. 

What is the past? Is it a collection of interpretations? Mine, yours and the dude over there's? Is it a static thing that looks different depending on the angle at which you see it? If David head on represents the past, is it possible to walk all the way around the statue and see the past more clearly? Can we all stand in a circle around him and together see the past clearly? Or do we all see a different statue? 

That's about the time that I decided to start my next book. The title of which I haven't quite memorized yet. But it's an actual book book rather than an electronic book so perhaps the tactile experience will help solidify some of the details a little more firmly into my wee brain. 

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