Thursday, 12 March 2009

Life Through a Lens

I had promised myself that I wouldn't talk about the changes in my life until I could give them some perspective and I set myself a date for a week and that takes me to tomorrow. I have lots I want to say and show and share. But what shall I talk of tonight? I have managed to find other things all week but tonight...

One thing that has been on my mind recently is the old Smirnoff adverts from my teenage years. I have been trying to find them online with very little luck although i found the TV ad. There was a whole series of still pictures to but i can't find them. The premise of the campaign was that if you looked through a bottle os Smirnoff vodka, you would see the world rather differently. Wasps becoming helicopters was one I particularly remember but there were so many and they were very, very cool.

I love the idea of magic glasses or some other way of seeing the magic in the world or of just seeing it differently. They crop up all over the place from the old story of using smeared juice of four leaf clovers on the eyes to see faerie to the holed stone of the more recent Spiderwick Chronicles. I guess they appealed to me because I would have loved some way to see the fantastic, some way to see magic.

Problem is that the fantastic and the magical become the common place and the ordinary as soon as everyone can see them all of the time and they become the accepted. Maybe in some other reality all they have are wild helicopter gun ships and they would love an ordinary wasp or two. Maybe in some other reality they would love to have crocodiles instead of magical dragons. Maybe magical and fantastic is just about perspective.

Children seem to see the world with such innocence and joy, the magical and fantastic are with them all the time. I think as we take the world for granted we lose the ability to see them. In many of the Smirnoff ads the viewpoint changes as the camera moves so that by moving so the bottle is between you and the object, you can then see it different. Maybe we can shift our perspective in the same way so we can see the fantastic.

Actively manipulating magic is a different thing entirely of course. Science evolves and it is entirely possible that science and magic may become linked in my view. Everything is made of energy. When you look at things in such detail that you can see the energy of solid matter, magnified many, many times, the very act of observing changes its. Maybe magic is all about using your mind to become such a focused observer that you can alter things on a fundamental level. If you don't believe me look up Quantum Physics and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and I wish you the best of luck!

For me there is so much that is fantastic in the natural world, but then I live somewhere so beautiful it would be hard not to see the beauty. I have a book on Cornwall published in 1923 as a tour guide for the well healed. The attitudes to many things are very, very different!

"inland, the scenery, dear as it may be to those who have known it from childhood, is apt to affect the unfamiliar eye as dreary in its monotonous expanse of rough brown moors, swelling up into low ridges, scarred by mines and topped by smokeless engine-shafts to take the place of trees."

I think time is a magic lens as well...

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