The following is a repost of the blog that captured
the idea for Altered Focus. I hope you enjoy it.
“HEY! Was that forest there all along?”, he said while scratching his head. As he stood in the open field he could see many things in the forest just across the meadow. His travel companion was just a few feet away from him also gripped by the sudden appearance of the forest.
“It must have been there, forest’s don’t just suddenly appear….. do they?”, was her response
He starts to describe some of the things at the forest’s edge. Curious little animals scurrying about, brightly adorned shrubs in full bloom, majestic trees that tower above the forest floor as if to protect them with it’s impressive array of branches atop the canopy, and all for him to freely see.
She turns to him with a confused look on her face, “Well, I certainly see the tree because it’s so tall and majestic. Where are the little animals and the flowered shrubs? All I see is a few ferns and blackberry bushes that are ripe for the picking.”
“Ferns? Blackberries? You must be mistaken, they aren’t there at all!”
The two decide to settle down and camp for the night, precisely where each had stopped. Night falls, warm fires lit, both travelers warmed by the provision of the land. Looking up the can both see the amazing star clusters long ago named for the heros of folklore in far away countries.
By morning the two rise and gather up their things, each ready to break camp. Both gaze into the forest, both conclude the images are the same as the day before.
“Let me walk in your shoes for a bit, lets trade places. Surely you must be looking at all the wrong things.”, he says to her.
So switch they do. Each taking up the position of the other.
For the next hour, both stare in silence. Tears come to her eyes, she is confounded that she couldn’t see the beauty that appears in front of her now. For his part, he has a dazed look, where did the lovely shrubs and cute little creatures disappear too he thought to himself.
He turns and apologizes, I must have been tired and imagined the beauty. She, tears still welled up in her eyes, pays no attention to his confession, she is fully engaged in a new way of seeing things. He walks over to her to see what is wrong, tears flowing and hardly a recognition of anything he’s said. His arm wraps around her to comfort her, surely she must need the comfort, then moves his eyes to the forest once again.
“Oh my!”, he exclaims.
“They have returned! All the pretty things I spoke about, they are back. How is that possible?”
Yesterday I was talking with a close friend of mine. We have been exchanging ideas about life, love, faith, and friendship for quite some time while chatting online. At times we have to agree to disagree, but this is how we all keep from warring over things that will never change, given where we stand in life.
As I review the chat transcript a few things I’d expressed to her jumped off the screen at me. If you do not already know, among my other talents, I am also a song writer. I often measure my personal well-being by the outflow of music I create. I’ve started a song, the chorus is below and I think it captures an idea worth sharing. This was not on the screen precisely in this fashion but became an obvious message once I fully considered it.
Need a different view,
Walk a different way
Until you see things in a new way
The forest is the same
The trees never change
The only thing different is the way you came
I enjoy my social networking experience beyond words, each person that contributes gives me a view to things I could not otherwise see. And to that realization, I become speechless.
Thanks for reading this far.
(Originally published February 25, 2007)