I thought about perspective as my daughter and I stood at the bottom of a U shaped slide. A rider slides down one side and back up the other, back and forth until the momentum stops you somewhere in the middle. It seemed simple enough. Not too high. No tubes to slide inside. No water to drop into. But one by one as people slid over the side, screams commenced. And when I crested the top, perspective changed. What seemed easy below, was more like such a steep drop that I could not see the slide below us.
I thought about how in art school, perspective is a common notion. Bird’s eye view. Ant’s eye view. Put your work down, walk away, hang it up. Anything to teach yourself to see differently. To see a different point of view.
I thought about after my fiance died, how I spoke at his memorial about aligning my perspective to be more like his. Humble.
I thought about the acquaintances that came to my rescue the first time my heart had been broken. How I had never thought to see them as friends until after they mended me.
I thought about moving cross country and not being able to find a job even though I held three college degrees and then needing government assistance.
I thought about how shitty things, really shitty things, often needed to happen to shift your perspective. And then you’d forget about that shift and slowly fall back to old ways.
I thought about the first day of my daughter’s swim class and how I questioned one of the mom’s t-shirt, which read “scientist.” I doubted that shirt. But then she sat next to me and our daughter’s immediately connected. Even held hands. It had only been about three minutes. And as swim class went on, I found out that she was a single mom like me, new to the area, and had just been accepted into the PhD program. And at the end of class, we exchanged numbers. I was silently ashamed.
I thought about my fiance’s memorial and the things I said in front of an audience and felt like I had been failing him and my promise.
I thought about all these things as we stood at the bottom of the U shaped slide. We did have at least an hours wait.