I look at things a lot like I used to, and I look at things differently. Optimistically, realistically, idealistically, interchangeably. One view is jaded, the other is hopeful, both informed and experienced. How we reconcile our outlook is a matter of perspective. Some of it comes from the comfort of an outhouse, usually in cooler weather when the bugs are absent and fresh air abundant. Occasionally, it’s a critical eye that takes in the obvious, discerning fact from assumption. I’m not always objective, neither am I presumptuous most of the time. Usually, if adrenalin is not a factor, I enjoy the view like anybody else.
Time. It heals, equalizes, dilutes, fades, burnishes; whatever it does, it’s a great tool. Without it, there’d be nothing to look forward to, nothing to reminisce about, no lesson to review. Pretty much life and stuff and hope would be meaningless. I liked reaching, passing the half-century point and anticipate closing in on my own 3-digit placemark. I expect it, leave on the table whether that anticipation is something to be argued or worried. Either way, it’s ahead of me for sure by seconds, minutes, hours, even days too numerous to count if I’m lucky.
I’d like to say honestly that the longer I live, the more positive my attitude and outlook, but that isn’t true. What’s true is that day by day I muse on what my response should be, how my experience is affecting my opinion and whether one or the other is valid beyond that experience. I’m beginning to value perspective a whole lot more than a fixed attitude – about anything. I’m becoming more malleable and find the experience a comfortable one. Objectivity is an easy thing, without demand. I can sit without judgment, without a need to determine truth or worth or application. I find it more easy to accept that a thing just “is” and that my opinion or objectivity or argument just doesn’t matter.
I dug an outhouse hole the day one of these pictures was taken. It was a thoroughly enjoyable task, the outcome perfection. I’ll be honest; I almost resented someone was going to crap in it. I didn’t want to plant flowers in it, but I turned that sweaty job on a hot day into a thing of beauty. The sides were smooth, the floor flat and symmetrical, and I got far enough down that climbing out made me grin. It was empty, it was clean, it was perfect.