Sunday, February 8, 2015

Selective Vision

 In my online photography class the challenge for the past week was "one shape."  I submitted this image.  When I showed it to Ben he said, "Where did you find that?"   It's a decorative finial which  is right in our backyard, if you look for it.

I'll give you a hint; it's near our neighbor's shed.  If you look down the fence line one way, you see a jumble of fencing and vegetation.  Not too attractive to look at, is it?   

If you look the other way, though, you have a prettier view.

Come in a bit closer; now you see the finial.  

That's what selective vision does for you.  It's a tool for finding and focusing on what appeals to you, usually because it's beautiful or interesting.  

I found this finial because the exercise with my camera made me look for it and find it.  It's been in the back yard since we moved here but I only spotted it yesterday.

I've been thinking about selective vision since we've moved to Boulder.  Just when I think we are so happy here because this is such a great city to be in, I wonder if that's my selective vision at work.

In some cases, it's clear to me.  Yes, there are many more excellent restaurants within five minutes of our house than in our old neighborhood.  Yes, we can get on several fabulous hiking trails by walking out of our house when before we had to drive.    But some questions are harder to answer.

Is this really one of the most beautiful places on earth, or do we focus our attention on the wondrous scenery and ignore the less pretty sights in town?   Are people here really so friendly or do we just not "see" the less friendly folk?   Is the pace more relaxing, people less stressed out, and life just easier, or is that just our view as newly retired workers?

Just when I'm about to proclaim that living here is heaven I think "hold on, there's a lot of selective vision going on as well" and I settle on just smiling to myself instead of proclaiming.

I know this for sure: using selective vision makes me happier.  Today, for instance, promised to be a warm, sunny day and I'd been invited along on a morning hike with Ben, Ray and that handsome dog, Gus.  Sounded appealing but I'm still dealing with a bad cold, have some pain in my leg from the muscle injury I got snorkeling last April, and a fierce wind was howling outside.   I almost said "no, thanks" but then decided to go for it.  It was just too sunny to be inside all day.  So I packed some kleenix, told myself my leg would feel better once I'd stretched it out hiking, and ignored the wind.  Turned out to be a great hike and a happy time.  


  1. Great post. Good for you for getting out. And your piece on selective vision is very thought-provoking.

  2. I like the second picture of the finial best. You've always been good at focusing on the stuff that makes you sing. LeeAnna


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