Sunday, April 26, 2009

Again with the perspective

Life is good. I don't have to trek overland through drought parched terrain for a drink of water. Or lose my footing and slide on my belly right into the sharp claws of a hungry cheetah. Why yes, I did go see Disney Earth at the movie theater last night. The cinematography was amazing. Absolutely stunning. There's just something about watching nature in all its tooth and claw on the big screen that makes me realize how easy my domesticated life actually is.

I have my health, mobility and all of my senses. A friend of mine is struggling with ALS, cancer and the stupidity of a drunk driver who punched him in the face last week. The driver almost ran down my friend who was crossing the intersection on his medical scooter. Harsh words were exchanged. Then one brutal punch. Who hits an old man in a wheelchair? Fortunately, the primary witness was a police officer.

I have friends and family, jobs I like, food, shelter and wonderful companions. I'm easily amused and entertained. I get out. Travel. Life is good.

It's not perfect. We all have our trials and frustrations. Watching my friends cope with the imperfections in their lives helps me get perspective on my own.

How many times as writers have we struggled with scenes or characters failing to do what's best for the story? Often, switching the point of view will strengthen it. Who has the most to lose? The most to gain? Who is altered most?

After tossing the impaired driver into the squad car, and taking care of first aid for my friend, the cop asked him,"What's your story?" And that made me think. No matter what angle you see something from, there's always another way to look at it. I'm looking forward to hearing the driver's version. Was it fear, guilt anger or relief that made him get out of his car in the first place? What was he thinking? I'm curious about his point-of-view.

Perspective keeps life, and good reads, interesting.

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