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Sunday, September 11, 2016

What you see is up to you.


Reality is only a Rorschach ink blot, you know!”
Alan Watts

Take a look at this photo, and tell me what you see. It was taken by my friend, Leslie Lee Priester of Meridian, MS. Some folks would likely see it as a pile of junk, a collection of trash some hoarder has dragged from back alleys and roadsides. Some would not be able to contain their excitement; what discoveries might be made here! And, some would look with horror at a big mess marring the landscape. Truth is, we see what we want to see. We create a story and label it reality. Loafer's Glory is a history lesson. It is a collection of signs and other items that tell Meridian's history. And the building itself has a story—starting out as a post office and going through many incarnations. The current owner was once a bluegrass musician who played at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. He chose the name “Loafer's Glory,” based on a country song by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs:

There came a man from Tennessee.
I must tell the story.
He built a house beside the road,
and called it 'Loafer's Glory.'”

Reality is the story of our individual interpretation of the world. T. S. Eliot once said, “There is no absolute point of view from which real and ideal can be finally separated and labeled.” We each create our own. Marty Rubin stated it explicitly: “If you want absolutes, you have to invent them yourself.” I don't know whether you've ever looked at an ink blot from a Rorschach kit—they are absolutely nothing, and that's the point. What you see in them comes directly from you. What you see in everything comes directly from you. The human mind is fascinating—and unreliable. My reality is only that, and your reality is only your reality. When we try to make them absolute, and impose them on others, we wade into dangerous territory.

Today, look with new eyes and see reality for what it is—a Rorschach ink blot. What it means is up to you.

                                                         In the Spirit,


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