We see what we see.
I’ve heard it said, “Don’t believe anything you see and only half of what you hear.” A watered-down version of the hyperbolic proverb, “Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.” Credited to one of the most influential 19th century American short-form writers, Edgar Allan Poe. If we stroll on over to the 20th-century proverb market we find, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” Throw that in the cart for sure. This metaphoric-rich phrase was sifted from a published remark in the Kansas Farmer newspaper in 1917: “Some people are never satisfied anywhere. The grass always looks a little greener on the other side of the fence.”
Well then…okay! What about forced perspective? Real term. Real technique. Real problem.
The fact is, it’s NOT real! Take the grass for instance. You can score a roll of gently used artificial turf on Craigslist for $0.29 per square foot. BAM! My grass is greener! My yard is perfect. I have no weeds and you do! Or maybe you’re forking over several hundred dollars to a lawn-care service. Nevertheless, it doesn’t really explain forced perspective. That’s just being really sneaky. Or smart. Or lazy. Or environmentally conscious…depending on your perspective…of course.
Every year we take our children to some sort of an amusement park. One aspect each have in common, besides astronomical food prices and lots of hanging upside situations, is “Main Street”. Beautiful storefronts with the ornate window trim, fancy corbels, and columns line both sides of the walking path. Guests are corralled down the center in a virtual Running of the Bull fashion, except, walking, well…shuffling, really. If you’re not careful, the smells of cinnamon and vanilla will wrap around your senses and seize your best intention to eat only the protein bars and sandwiches smashed beneath the water bottles in the backpack that nobody else seems to want to carry! (Not bitter) I mean, who eats a double scoop ice cream cone at ten in the morning? Put your hand down. Self-control, for goodness sake.
The buildings even have trickery. Each are designed with deceit in mind. They appear larger than their actual size due to forced perspective. The ground level floors are constructed at 7/8 size with the upper-level floors built progressively smaller, including the size of the windows. An optical illusion. It finesses your brain into seeing and believing what really isn’t so.
This manipulative architecture technique has been around since ancient times. Take the Parthenon, for example. According to Architecture Analysis, Greek builders sought to counteract visual deception by proportioning. The pillars aren’t the same size. Unravel your measuring tape on your next visit and see for yourself. In order to make the pillars in the foreground of the temple look as big and evenly spaced apart as the inside of the temple, the columns in the inner and the back were made thicker than the front.
I’ll never trust my eyes again!
There’s something here about clothing choices and body shape but I’m a freshman writer with no fancy endorsees at the moment, so I’ll stay off of that bridge for now. Yes, I’m a chicken!
So here it is friends. Forced perspective can suffocate the real.
I see the most beautiful masks everywhere I go. Layers of satisfying colors and molds that complement the moment. The thing is, the faces they are hiding are even better. Genuine people with genuine issues and many with genuine pain, with no one to notice or trust. They add to what they want you to see just so they can throw everyone off the scent and give the impression of look how tall and beautiful, and amazing my world is! It’s heartbreaking to learn what some have spent a lifetime wall-papering over.
If you’re the one noticing the perfectly manicured emerald grass in your neighbor’s yard, guard your perspective, it’s not always what it seems.
If you’re the one busy building to distract from the reality of your circumstance, be encouraged to know God is exactly how He seems.
Faithful, loving, pure, lasting, enduring, gracious, refreshing, strong, forgiving, inspiring, redeeming, peace-giving, and the GIVER OF HOPE!
We can trust our eyes when they’re focused on Him. We can be secure in our own yard and proud of our particular shade of green.
Whatever the scene or circumstance we stumble upon or are thrown into, we have a choice. Believing in what we cannot see. That’s faith. When we exercise our faith and apply it to the unfair days and the unkind ways we develop our own forced perspective. We’re rescued by hope.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble therefore we will not fear. Though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea and the waters roar and foam and quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God. The Holy place where the most high dwells. God is within her and she will not fall.” – Psalm 46
Perspective. It’s everything!
Thankful for your writing, insight and ministry. You are a blessing.