Perception or Point of View?

I don’t know what made me start thinking about the word perception this morning; it just popped into my head and said, “Write something about me today.”

Hmm. Weird. Like everyone else, I think in words, but I don’t normally have one of them make demands of me that way.

As an author, I am extremely conscious of POV–that’s “point of view” for any of you who are non-writers. A good writer should only be inside one character’s head at a time. If he wants to change the point of view, he needs to make a smooth transition to keep from confusing the reader by committing the dreaded sin of “head hopping.”

Head hopping was almost the norm in novels of long ago, when the omniscient POV was still popular. But it’s a HUGE no-no in contemporary novels.

“Ooops!” My unconscious mind punched me in the tummy, which is still tender after last week’s gall bladder surgery. “Uhh! Why did you do that?”

“Roger, you’re already off-track. I told you to write about perception, not point of view. They’re not the same, despite the similarities.”

They’re not? “I’d never thought about that.”

“That’s because of your perception.”

“Not my point of view?’

The unconscious part of my mind seemed to hesitate. “That, too.”

Now I was really confused. “I give up. I’m healing from surgery. I’m not thinking very clearly at the moment. What are you trying to tell me?”

I could almost hear a sigh of satisfaction. “Before you had surgery, you thought the removal of your gall bladder would be a piece of cake. I believe that’s the cliche I heard you use a time or two. Nothing to it. Just because it would be laparoscopic.”

I groaned in agreement. That little punch in the tummy had left me in pain I’d thought I’d already moved past.

“What do you think now? Was it as simple as you’d thought?”

I laughed. “You know the answer to that. I thought I’d be back to normal in just a couple of days. I’m feeling better every day, but totally normal is still a number of days away.”

Was my mind chuckling at me? “So what’s your opinion now? Is laparoscopic surgery as, uh, pain-free as you’d expected.”

I rolled my eyes. “Do you even have to ask? I know better now.”

“But why? What has changed?”

“Besides being rid of a worthless gall bladder, you mean?”

No response.

Then things fell into place. I knew what my mind was pressing me to understand. “My point of view is still the same–it’s mine–but my perspective has changed. From anticipation based on someone else’s point of view to the reality of what I’ve experienced during the last six days.”

The pain in my stomach calmed instantly. And almost completely. “Now you’re talking. And why don’t you take a nap before people start thinking you’re crazy for talking to your unconscious mind this way.”

I chuckled. “Thanks. I think I will.”

[NOTE: When the idea of writing about perception first came to mind today, I thought I would write about the fact that I look at so many things differently now than I did fifty years ago. I hope you’re not disappointed that I got a bit carried away going in a different direction.]

I’d love to have a comment about this weird little bit of fiction.

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

Selfie-ness

RogerMirrorSelfie     RogerSelfie

Okay. I admit it. I’m not only behind the times now; I’ve probably always been.

Specifically, the word “selfie” to describe a picture one takes of himself, usually with a cell phone, did not enter my vocabulary until several years after everyone else knew what the word meant. In most instances, I’m not sure I missed much by what I didn’t know, but that doesn’t change the fact I used to be totally ignorant of the word.

Very rarely do I feel the need to take a selfie. I think I know sufficiently well what I look like, and I’m not sure even my family and closest friends need a reminder from my cell phone. Well, perhaps the family members who live a distance away.

However, when I walk at the mall–as I did on this very rainy day–I do periodically note my reflection in various store windows. Especially those that are closed and don’t have any distracting merchandise to take away from my reflection. Or should I say without adding that merchandise TO my reflection?

I’m certainly not an egotistical man in general, especially about my looks. I hope I’m not so bad looking that little children point at me behind my back and ask their mothers what’s wrong with me. Or that teens look at me and laugh, probably thinking, “Boy! Are you old!”

But neither am I aware of women of any age looking at me and saying, “Wow!” (I hope that fact pleases my wife.)

Actually, the one thing I notice in my store window reflections is how much slimmer I am than I was just a few years ago. I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve dieted in my life and the total number of pounds I’ve lost. Or the number of pounds I ultimately regained.

But when my doctor pronounced me as officially diabetic and told me to count calories rather than carbs and to watch the scales, I took him seriously. During a year-and-a-half, I managed to lose fifty pounds, and–for once in my life–I’ve been able to keep them off. My diabetes is totally under control, and I’d be scared to regain any of my former weight.

An accomplishment like is worth observing in mall store windows.

At the top of this post are two selfies. Both were taken in the bathroom. One is a picture of the mirror reflection; the other is a cell phone selfie. Rather different, wouldn’t you say?

But there’s a more important difference than the picture quality between my cell phone and my Nikon D-3100. One picture shows me more-or-less the way I really look. The other is–guess what?–a reverse of what I really look like. It’s the way a mirror image is supposed to look.

So, yes, those window reflections accurately show my correct overall size and shape, but they don’t show the real me. Not the me other walkers at the mall see. Or my wife. Or anyone else who looks at me.

Like it or not, the cell phone selfie is a truer representation of my appearance.

No matter which way of looking at myself is more accurate, neither shows me the way God sees me. He sees me on the inside as well as the outside. He sees the person I am and the person I still want to become. Even while my body deteriorates with age, my spirit seeks to become more godly. More Christlike.

God sees that desire, and I believe it makes Him smile. And the thought of His approval makes me smile. Not at what I look like, but at Who I want to please with my whole being.

Are you satisfied with yourself at this stage of your life? What would you change? How about leaving a comment?

~*~

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger