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Category: Portfolio

Orchids

I have always loved the look of orchids. If they aren’t my favorite flowers, it would be too close to call (the other possibility is calla lilies). Of course, I can’t keep any plants alive. Cats yes, plants no. So my enjoyment of flowers is generally at weddings or in photos.
Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about perception and how we have so many blind spots, both literally and mentally, when we look at things. I thought it would be interesting to try to find the small details in a single orchid and not miss the proverbial trees for the forest.
So this is a study of a single orchid. All the full, correct color of that flower, with minimal processing. It’s all about letting those details come through on their own and enjoying the textures, the shapes, and the small imperfections that made this flower unique.

Fundamental Attribution Error

In a distant village, a long time ago, there lived six blind men. One day the villagers announced, “Hey, there is an elephant in the village today.”

They had never seen or felt an elephant before and so decided, “Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway.” And thus they went down to the village to touch and feel the elephant to learn what animal this was and they described it as follows:

“Hey, the elephant is a pillar,” said the first man who touched his leg.

“Oh, no! it is like a rope,” argued the second after touching  the tail.

“Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree,” the third man spouted after touching the trunk.

“It is like a big hand fan” said the fourth man feeling the ear.

“It is like a huge wall,” sounded the fifth man who groped the belly .

“It is like a solid pipe,” Said the sixth man with the tuskin his hand.

They all fell into heated argument as to who was right in describing the big beast, all sticking to their own perception. A wise sage happened to hear the argument, stopped and asked them “What is the matter?” They said, “We cannot agree to what the elephant is like.”

The wise man then calmly said, “Each one of you is correct; and each one of you is wrong. Because each one of you had only touched a part of the elephant’s body. Thus you only have a partial view of the animal. If you put your partial views together, you will get an idea of what an elephant looks like.”

-Rumi

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Face Of A Stranger 1

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

-Paul Laurence Dunbar

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