That morning, before we visited the Getty Museum in Los Angeles — it started out like any other morning before a field trip. I must have had more time on my hands then usual, because at some point I had the chance to sit down with a couple of my sons and explore the museum website. We did a few of the normal things. We printed directions, printed out some educational stuff to do at the museum, looked at pictures, read a bit. Then we watched a video — and a couple things struck me. The first was this saying I had read on the website.
It’s not about what you look at, it’s about what you see.
This struck me because I loved the quote — and it is so true. The second thing that struck me was a line from the video. I’m not even sure if I am quoting it exactly, but the gist of it was this.
Every Opening Frames a View
Those five minutes watching videos and reading on the website — those two quotes — framed my entire visit at the Getty. For me, the rest of the day was absolutely magical. And maybe even life-changing.
As we traveled through the Getty Museum, I looked at everything with this thought drumming in my head. Every Opening Frames a View.
This next image was particularly fascinating to me, because the entire sculpture as viewed in the slideshow was covered in these grids of metal pipe. But the sculpture moved and turned in the wind, so the view inside each grid was constantly changing and also completely different depending on where you stood. Perspective. Look at what I found inside one of the grids once I got home and zoomed in on my pictures.
I was surprised on the way home when I started noticing frames everywhere. One particularly astounding frame was the frame formed by an overpass framing the 450. Gridlocked cars filled the frame. It was an interesting opening, framing an interesting view. I think that was the point at which I realized that I may never look at another opening without noticing what is framed within. “It’s not about what you look at, it’s about what you see.” As I look back on that moment now, I wish I had been quick enough to ask one of my passengers to snap a picture.
What if the opening is a life change? What if the view I see inside that frame is not exciting or pretty? What if the view is always changing, or what if I am just not looking from the right perspective? What if the opening is a conversation with my child? What if I am not listening? What view into his world might I miss? What if that opening was my one change to teach an eager learner how to read? What if I missed that opening because I was too busy blogging?