Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Low Angles

August 8, 2007

We must remain as close to the flowers, the grass, and the butterflies as the child is who is not yet so much taller than they are. We adults, on the other hand, have outgrown them and have to lower ourselves to stoop down to them. It seems to me that the grass hates us when we confess our love for it. Whoever would partake of all good things must understand how to be small at times.
~Friedrich Nietzsche

Doing my ritual morning blog-and-coffee hour, I was struck by the following statement (ostensibly regarding photography) by Lynn Freeny. As a visual artist, he claims he doesn't have a way with words, but I think this is profound: "The most boring angle is eye level because we spent our whole adult life seeing things at eye level. Small children with a camera get some of the most interesting images just because they see the world at a very low angle."

That's exactly what I was thinking that same thing this morning on my walk, except that I don't have such clarity in the mornings, so I'll rephrase. I was more feeling that this morning on my walk: how when you're a kid, you can feel that promise of a hot day in the morning, and shiver with anticipation. You can imagine hunkering down in a quiet patch of dirt under a tree and staying cool. You know there will be popsicles, and maybe you'll get to play with the garden hose. You know the way the sidewalk will feel under your bare feet. It's the very low angle of the world.

But I'm on my walk, cognizant of the sunrise and the hot day coming, but instead of popsicles I'm thinking of who I need to call, and what bills I need to pay, and what I need to clean, etc. Eye level stuff. And yet--and yet I can't help but thrill in this season of life, this busyness and demands of running a family and being a grown-up. What I have to do is remember the balance--the bending low to greet the child's morning angle, the rising up to embrace eye level.

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