What is real? As I thought about the week’s photo challenge, this question floated to and fro. Because this photo, of a pond in eastern Germany, was taken with an old iPhone, the quality isn’t too crisp or clear. However, it’s easy to recognize the scenery: trees, around a pond and reflected in the water. A quiet place for reflection where everything looks normal. However, upon further inspection, you may notice that something is a little off, a bit surreal. Do you see it?
My reflections are often similarly unclear and unreal. As I get older, it’s difficult to decipher if remembrances of past events are 100% accurate or if they have been altered (like this photo) and affected by stories I have been told or stories I have read. When I was younger, things appeared so black and white; but as I age, those distinctions seem less clear and less important. What is real and what is an illusion?
This photo of an art installation, which I took at an exhibition in Singapore, showcases the quirky, and unavoidable, habit of taking on more than we should. Like many, I fall victim to this innate routine to prove, to justify, and to exceed. Although I have forgotten what the piece was called – I might have called it ‘Elephantine bakasana’ or ‘Elephant doing the crow’ – and who the artist was, the image speaks to me by asking: “If you didn’t have to prove something, what would you be doing? If you didn’t have to justify anything, how would you act? If you didn’t have to exceed, why would you do it?”
This second photo, which I took during my travels through China, captures the singularity in time, a man sitting in a park, enjoying a moment of meditation or slumber, something I strive to incorporate into my daily habits, wishfully and not always successfully.