Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Not What I Thought It Was at First

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I was walking through Wingfoot State Park amid some splendid autumn foliage when I spotted this red leaf out of the corner of my eye.

It jumped out at me because of the contrast of its bright red color against a carpet of leaves of varying shades of brown.

I held up my camera, snapped one image and continued walking.

The next day I thought of this image and how it might made a good visual image for an essay I wanted to write about being different from those around you.

I opened the image in Photoshop and was about to sharpen it when I noticed something that changed the focus of the essay and my thinking about this image.

This leaf isn’t a leaf at all, but a piece of cloth cut to resemble a leaf. I have no idea where it came from, but it wasn’t what I thought it was when I first saw it.

So rather than write the essay I planned to write about living in a world when others around you are quite different, I recognized I had just had another life lesson to impart.

So often we made decisions like the one I made of seeing something, recognizing it for what we think it is and then moving on with that belief in our mind without giving it a closer look.

Many of our beliefs never get that closer look. In the case of this faux red leaf, I had to enlarge the photograph quite a bit to recognize that it is made of cloth and not epidermis.

So while this image didn’t work out to help illustrate the essay I thought I was going to write, it illustrated well another lesson that is of equal value. Besides, I still enjoyed the sight of a bright red leaf, even if man made, against a background of brown.


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