Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Point of View

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."
-Anais Nin

Mater went to London this week and stood before Buckingham Palace. She called me from her cell phone and exuberantly told me all about it. Given her extraordinarily poor sense of direction I had to express delight that she had found the palace.
Spouse and I were in London two years ago and we wandered into that very same area.
"Where is it?" I remember wailing to Spouse as the rain poured down and our street map grew soggy.
"It should be really close," Spouse called through the torrents. Everybody in the crowd had umbrellas except us.
We thought to beg directions from a passer-by, who kindly let us know that we were standing right beside it.
There it was then, just like that. We had been looking at Buckingham Palace from the unfamiliar side- in as much as photographs and television can be said to offer a feeling of recognition- and from the perspective of sodden and anxious tourists.
Spouse and I did not quite know what to say to one another: we had talked about visiting Buckingham Palace for the better part of a week and when we got there we did not even recognise it. When we reached the front of course it all made sense but whoever looks at pictures of Buckingham Palace taken from the back or the side?
Most things in the world are like that in their own way, and hardly ever turn out to be as we imagined them.


mouse (aka kimy) said...

that anais nin hit the nail on the head with this quote and t.e. (that be you) followed up with the most erudite conclusion: "Most things in the world are like that in their own way, and hardly ever turn out to be as we imagined them."

polona said...

great quote to introduce your story :)

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Kimy, t.e. thanks you kindly for your words ;)

Polona, yes, Anais Nin knew how to get to the point quickly and with elegance.

Jaime said...

That is one of my favourite quotes...I've got it on my fridge :)

I love her quotes, but I had trouble getting through her first book (collection of diary entries). Have you read them?

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Jaime, no, I've not actually read any of her work though it's been recommended to me many times. Sometimes, much as I love reading, I prefer a writer's condensed thoughts- it depends on the writer of course. So much to read and so little time...

Jaime said...

Oh! A condensed version would be so perfect!

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Jaime, I'm really glad you think so too. I hated admitting it because I'm an avid reader but it doesn't mean a person has to like everything! :)
I suppose it also depends whether I like certain writers for their writing style or for what they have to say. I like different writers for different reasons.
On a related note, I just looked at the fridge to see what quotes I have on it- (I don't look at the door often.) There is a magnet with a Mark Twain quote:
'To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with.'
It would be fun to put together a collection of people's fridge quotes ;)

Jaime said...

What a great quote.

My fridge is covered with magnetic poetry...I use the words for my favourite quotes. When the right word isn't there, I type them up with different colours and fonts and print them out and add them to my magnetic words. Lot's of fun :)

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Jaime, that's a great idea. We've never actually bought a magnet: Mater sends them from time to time.
How nice to be cheered by words every time you go to the fridge!

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