How many times do we look for a deeper meaning in things?
I recall walking around the Grand Palace in Bangkok. This amazing collection of architectural wonder was a photographers dream. Even people who claim they can not use a camera can take awesome photographs here.
While most people took the stand temple shots with their friends and family stood outside in a classic “evidence based” style to prove to the world on social media they were there. I was distracted by a story which spanned across the entire edge of the grounds.
The canvas was the external wall of the palace, marking the edge where the city began the the palace was guarded. It told the story of the the kings of Thailand history and contained what every good story needs….hero’s, fighting, dramatic rescues, war, love, drama and a dash of comedy.
As I followed the story and looked deeper and deeper I saw more and more, like when you stare at the night sky and hidden stars reveal themselves. There was a cheeky juggling monkey who made guest appearances more than once. Or the lovers caught in a passionate embrace hidden from view. I became engrossed at finding the little quirks in the story which made it unique and put some of the artists personality in there. I wondered how many other people had noticed this detail?
If you happen to find yourself in Bangkok and wish to visit the Grand Palace I would recommend it. It is quite expensive for Thailand’s attractions (500 THB in 2014) but you can easily spend a whole day there. The strict dress code in enforced on the door so ladies make sure you have your arms and legs covered, same goes for men and ensure that you have socks with your sandals or closed toe shoes on. Some temples will require you to enter with bare feet only.
One thing I will recommend is to look deeper….don’t take surface value photographs. Look for what others might have missed.
One of the things which I realised at Art College was I had a good understanding of perspective and depth….well not a goodunderstanding, an excellent understanding!
I remember being 10 years old and drawing a street scene using a vanishing point to draw peoples eyes to the centre of the scene.
I hate it when things aren’t straight….seriously I can tell if a picture on the wall is out by a few mm.
As I grew within myself I learnt that perspective and depth are not something which can only be applied to an image (I love photographing in this way) or an object but also to a person.
Different people have different perspectives on the world. Some people choose to focus on the small details, some the bigger picture, some people look at the negative, the faults, the flaws, some find the improvements in everything that can be done. Others choose to see the positive, the worthwhile and the good.
Teams are developed because people bring their own unique perspectives and skills to the same cause. One persons strength is another persons weakness. A team who works together has ascertained their shared goals and agreed a plan of action which incorporates everyones strengths in order to achieve the shared goal.
This is the same for any human relationship and interaction. If you can ascertain your shared goals you can find a way to work together towards them. If you focus on what is wrong and what the other person is not doing to meet your goals then you will continue to experience trouble and strife in that relationship.
Next time you are faced with a confronting situation and person, ask yourself “What are our shared goals?” It is from this point of understanding that you can base your responses to that person and improve your relationships by reaching a win win solution.
Bertie was getting use to U-turns and sudden changes on this journey. In fact he had come to expect it! Tonights “U-turn” was a complete surprise to Bertie and plummeted him into something which he had never thought of before. Tonight Bertie went to Calypso Ladyboy Cabaret show in Bangkok!
Bertie had met several people who have seemed to be lost in a journey of self discovery but tonights experience got him wondering. What happens if you don’t just feel uncomfortable in the skin you are in but you feel that it just does not fit you or represent who you feel on the inside?
Bertie had seen several tattoo shops throughout Thailand and had watched as people emerged from the shops proudly sporting some new body art. This body art represented something important to that person, it was an outward expression of something they felt deeply connected to on the inside.
Is this what the Ladyboys of Bangkok feel, Bertie wondered? How hard it must have been to come to accept yourself completely and have the strength to follow your feelings and vision of who you feel you really are, especially when presenting that vision and inner feeling of yourself to the world and knowing that some people will judge you for it? But then is that not like any form of inner expression? Bertie had begun to realise that there will always be people who will judge you or have opposing thoughts and beliefs to you.
Some people may argue that these men denying their true selves, or denying the identity they were born with?
Watching the men perform on stage, smiling, happy and obviously loving what they are doing Bertie began to wonder whether all his questions mattered at all!? They were doing what they loved doing and doing it against all odds, a bit like Bertie was doing with his journey. They were shouting to the world “This is me and aren’t I fabulous!” He suddenly felt a deep compassion towards the performers. He began to realise that people in this world are not as different as they imagine themselves to be. At the end of the day everyone is going through life trying to be accepted for who they are. What happens when you learn to truly accept yourself and embrace yourself for the wonderful soul that you are? Bertie was yet to find out.