1. a technique of depicting volumes and spatial relationships on a flat surface.
2. a picture employing this technique, especially one in which it is prominent.
3. a visible scene, especially one extending to a distance; vista.
4. the state of existing in space before the eye.
5. the state of one's ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship.
Recently I've been thinking about how I see the world. Everyone, no matter how similar, has a completely different perspective than everyone else. I noticed that people do the oddest things, but to them it's just how they think they should act; it's their perspective on how things ought to be. How is it that someone can think something is weird or insane, while someone else thinks it is completely normal? I suppose a lot of it has to do with how we were raised, our cultural environments, and our moral compasses. Scientifically, we all see with the same kind of hardware, but we don't necessarily see the same thing the same way. This is the difference between stimulation and perception. Stimulation is what our eyes physically see, while perception is how our brain interprets those images. Perspective is somewhere in between the two; it's not as definite as stimulation, but more relateable than perception.
At this point, I could reference a YouTube video that was one of the things that got me thinking about perspective and inspired this post, but I'll just give a simple, yet slightly mind-blowing example instead (you can ask me about the video later, if you really want to jump down that rabbit hole). Have you ever wondered if your green is the same as my green? What if your green is my red, but we've both learned to call it green? I find this theory to be a bit shaky, but it illustrates my point. How can I tell you how I see the world if you already have your own perception? We try so hard to express or explain our views to others through conversations, disputes, stories, and art. We make connections here and there and, while we can shift our own perspective slightly, it is impossible to truly have someone else's perception (at least on this world; if we could read minds, firstly, that would be awesome and secondly, it would be a completely different matter).
A friend of mine, who also writes a blog (albeit much more consistently and probably more articulately than I; if you're crazy enough to follow this blog, you should definitely go check his out), just wrote a post about music, dance, and the expression of art. It's beautifully written and a very nice tribute to music as an art form, but a certain line struck a sour note with me (pun most-definitely intended): "how can you truly appreciate a song that you have yet to dance to?" Sometimes I just need something to trigger a passive-aggressive outburst for me to write in my blog. So I thank you for that, Jared.
Just because I don't dance doesn't mean that I don't feel the music I listen to. I love music. Like A LOT. I listen to music any and every chance I get, and I love discovering new artists and sounds. But, as previously stated, I loath dancing.
I like dance in of itself; I think it truly is a beautiful way to express emotion and see a song through another lens, so to speak. But there are so many other lenses to see it through; so many other perspectives.
Mine is singing, I think. When I really feel a song, I sing it. When I have some pent up emotion, I find some song that matches my mood and let it all out. To me, that is how I appreciate a great song. I feel it, I make a deep connection with it, I make it my own, I sing it.
And when I can't sing a song, I listen to it and then really listen to it. I pick out and pick apart complex arrangements, relish in subtle variations in a riff, anticipate and analyze notes, and... sometimes still try to sing along. It gets very difficult with techno...
But dancing? No. To each their own, I suppose. But I don't think it should ever be said that dance is the only way to "truly appreciate a song".
I don't mean to rag on Jared at all; I do that enough in the real world, no need to do so over the Internet as well (you know I love yer face, Jared). But, while reading his post, I began to think about perspective again. I really can't relate to the urge to dance; I've never really felt it. I have the hardest time trying to understand what it's like to have that feeling. I will occasionally tap my foot or bob my head to a good beat, but I've never wanted to dance. It's one perspective I have yet to see through.
Side Note Time! (*cheering*)
So Wiktionary says that the saying "to each his own" traces back to the Latin phrase suum cuique which is short for suum cuique pulchrum est which means “to each his own is beautiful”. How cool is that?
It can be frustrating to have to combat or try to understand so many different opinions, but it's also so wonderful! The world would be so boring if we all had the same perspective. Sure, there would be less or even no arguments or disputes, but there would also be no deep discussions, empathy, diversity, or variety in art. There may not even be art without the reason to express it.
You have to put something into art in order to get something out of it, when creating or even just viewing it. You have to be willing to set aside your world-view for a little bit and try to see the world through someone else's eyes. And a change in perspective can do even more for your life than it can for your view of art. A shift in perspective can cause a shift in attitude. And a shift in attitude can open your eyes to an entirely new perspective on life.