Just Stop Spinning
My youngest daughter recently turned 19 and, on a completely unrelated note, learned that she is colorblind. Not the classic red/green type, but she doesn’t see the color orange at all. It freaked her out a bit, to learn this at such an age. I’m sure that had she been in school rather than schooled at home, she would have been tested and it would have been just a part of her life. But realizing she’s been seeing the world without the color orange but she didn’t even know it, well, it’s messed with her head.
It’s become a game now, to point out something with orange in it and ask her what color she sees. Turns out she sees true orange as more of a brown, muddy shade. Any shade of orange/red just looks red to her. At least, that’s how she describes it. But really, how can I ever see what she sees? How can we ever know how the world looks through someone else’s eyes?
We can’t. At best we can try to describe what we see, but even that’s just words. I could paint a picture of what I see, but no two people will really see the same painting. Even a photograph, when viewed through the singular lens of your own perception, may not look the same to someone else.
No matter how many times we ask her what she sees, we’ll never see it. And she’ll never be able to show us.
All of this has nothing at all to do with the photo above, which was really just my intense longing for a nap. But when I finished it and looked at it, I realized that, while I’m pleased with how it turned out, you may see something totally different. In fact, what if my monitor colors are completely out of whack and even though I see a nice rich water scene, you might see a bright riot of colors? Or a completely muddy mess.
For a moment that idea really irked me, the idea that you might not see what I want you to see when you look at my photo.
But I guess it doesn’t really matter. Even if you and I were seeing the exact same shades of the exact same colors in the exact same photo- we’d still be seeing it differently, wouldn’t we?
I see shades of orange everywhere I look now.