Tag Archives: focus

My jaded lens

Sometimes, when I get the feeling that I am missing something important yet intangible, I remind myself that my perceptions are jaded. Then I seek the broad path of seeing beyond, behind, inside of, below, outside of… differently. Herein lies the rub. How can I provide myself with an unbiased view of something “hard-wired” to be exactly that–biased? How can I change the DNA-fueled impressions I’ve made, been fed, massaged over years of mass media influence, denied, embraced, honed?

For example, how can I decide whether my faith is based on what I was taught, or on what I have come to believe “on my own?” Or how can I decide if my ideas about parenting have come from years of careful observation, natural instincts, intelligence, research and a heart for children, OR if I am wrong about many of the issues I fight (internally and externally) for and against?

Is there such a thing as “being neutral?” Can I be “fair” without also being “unfair? And don’t I consistently remind my children that life is not fair? How about “righteousness?” What does this mean? My way or the highway? The way the local church professes? The way my kids catch any inconsistency I unwittingly demonstrate, and call it out, expecting a resolution?

The lens with which I view my world is not rose-colored, it is cracked, dirty, and grimy. It is clear, reflective and beautiful. It is polarized and jaded. It is all I have. Pressing my eye to the viewfinder, I seek the perfect shot through a perfect lens. Click. I’ve got it! I pull the image up on a large screen to analyze the capture. The background is nicely blurred, the foreground is complementary and leads my eye directly to the subject. That’s when I see it–the perfect combination that suddenly has me taking great deep breaths. I study the shapes, the contours, the colors, the shadows and the light. The simple beauty of the virtual shot I have taken is stunning, but will only be fully appreciated by me. As I begin to flip through my life-album of best images, I realize that my most enlightened, powerful days are compositions made up of confidence, hard-knocks humility and the softest, most beautiful light I can imagine–that of gratitude.

photograph property of The Jaded Lens Photography


I’m not sure why, but each and every time I take a freeway exit that has two choices, I get flustered. Directionally challenged? Sometimes. But here’s the mysterious part: even if I KNOW which way I am supposed to travel, I am still sidetracked by the alternate option. Supposed to be taking Brookhurst North? Well, what about South? That looks interesting too.

This is a silly discussion, I know…but it is leading me to some deep thoughts about my seeming inability, in general, to stay on task. I have decided that I am a bit like the Laura J. Numeroff/Felicia Bond characters in the delightful children’s book series that includes, If You Give a Moose a Muffin, and other such tales about one thing leading to another. My own version might look a bit like this: If you give her a task such as washing the dishes, she will ask you for some dishwashing liquid. When she notices that the bottle is empty she will go to the garage for a new one, where she will notice that the cat box needs cleaning, which will then cause her to notice the smell of a wet, molding towel. After starting a hot load of laundry, she will of course have noticed that the dryer is full of clean clothes. As she dumps them on the couch, the doorbell will ring and the UPS driver will hand her a package. She will open the package to discover that her new lens has arrived. She will open it, of course, place it on her camera, and immediately begin shooting, which will of course lead her to view the pics on her laptop, which will naturally lead her here, to this photo blog, which will remind her that she needs something to drink, which will lead her into the kitchen, where she might notice that the dishes still need washing.

See what I mean?