A perspective is defined by what one experiences and chooses to remember or relate to.

A classic analogy: "Is the glass half-full or half-empty."

A perspective dicates the place from where all motivations will be launched.

If space permitted I would launch into yet another soap box tirade on how perspective shifting is important in this world (when used for good). Check out to know.

The way things look smaller when they are farther away.
This happens because the eye's field of view becomes wider at a distance, so the image of a more distant object is projected onto a smaller portion of the retina.
Also used to describe how one's philosophical perception of the world varies depending on how one looks at it.

Jason Becker

A fantabulous album by guitar master Jason Becker. Originally released in 1995, and rereleased in 2001. This album was mostly written and performed shortly after he found out that he had ALS. It is a highly emotional album that exemplifies a change in perspective on life that nearly dying gave him. Opening it up, one can find pictures of Jason and his friends, family and dog from when he was a baby holding a little guitar until after he lost the ability to move. The top of the inlet reads

"I have had ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) since I was almost 20 years old. When I made this record I was 25 years old. Now I am going on 32. I was a guitarist until this disease swiped that little skill (for the time being, anyway). I wrote songs and recorded four albums. But as my guitar playing dwindled, something else in my music got better. Something indefinable. Every song on this album was done during this time. They are like my kids. My mother calls them her grandsongs.

I believe I will be heals, but if not, so be it. Even though I have this disease I am really lucky in most ways. I am surrounded by friends and loved ones who never let me forget my inner fire, hope and faith. Many handicapped people do not have this luxury. Please do what you can to be aware of tehm, help them, or just give them some positive thoughts. And keep your butts out of the blue zones. Please try to feel and give only love and compassion to everyonel; you will be happy. Don't judge or hate anything; you will be unhappy."

The tracks are as followed:

  • 1. Primal - Primal is an interesting song. Throughout the song tribal drum beats are played throughout it with a wailing chorus. One may be a bit put off by this song at first but after a few listenings it can become a favorite. This song features Steve Perry of Journey.
  • 2. Rain - This is a nice song which was written when Jason first felt the symptoms of the disease. Basically, Rain is a neat little guitar solo with keyboards in the background adding an ambient feel to the music.
  • 3. End of the Beginning - This is IMHO the high point of the album. It opens with a peacefully sounding piano then goes into a guitar riff and continues until the listener is drowned in ecstasy. The guitars are clean, the solos fit the keyboards, pianos and so on provide a perfect backing. This song is truly moving, leaving the listener feeling a wide range of emotions from despair to optimism.
  • 4. Higher - This is a lovely sounding song featuring mostly vocals with some keyboards added in near the end. This reminds me of whenever I heard Latin singing choirs before I started to learn it. No real meaning, just beautiful voices.
  • 5. Blue - Blue is just that, a blues song. This song was recorded back in 1990 when Jason was on recording with David Lee Roth. This was recorded when Jason's left hand had begun to feel lazy as his leg had already. Blue is a fun track to listen to and keeps a strong rhythm throughout.
  • 6. Life and Death - As Jason puts it, "The title speaks for what was on my mind at the time." Whenever I listen to this song I imagine a epic battle between two supernatural forces within a very thick rain-forest until ultimately the good wins out. This song is nice because rather than conveying the common meme "things could be worse" it presents a more positive "things will get better."
  • 7. Empire - This song sounds almost Asian, like something Jason's buddy Marty Friedman would do. It features a peaceful sounding flute and a war-like drum/guitar combination. This is a fun song to listen to.
  • 8. Serrana - This is an odd song. The intro is what Jason had originally intended to be the intro played backwards by Jason's father Gary. The rest is a neat little keyboard tune with a synclavier thrown in. This song always reminds me of both the ghost level of Super Mario 64 and the circus.
  • 9. Meet Me in the Morning - Fans of Bob Dylan will recognize this song. This song was added in for two reasons: Bob Dylan was the biggest influence on Jason as a kid, and because this was originally recorded when Jason's ability to play the guitar was leaving him. It's a shame not too many new musicians play like this any more.
  • All in all this is a wonderful album which I would recommend to any music lover. Speed Metal fans which are generally the type of people who would listen to Jason's earlier stuff may be a bit shocked by how different this is but with an open mind will grow to love this.

Visit Jason's website at http://www.jasonbecker.com

Keeping Perspective

For Jews, keeping perspective is very important. One should never feel too important, yet neither should one feel that what one does has no effect on the world. One must achieve a middle way of humbly trying to affect the world for the better. To implement this, the rabbis of old said that a person who is in need of perspective should carry a piece of paper in each pocket. One of the papers should read, "For my sake the world was created."1 The other should read, "I am but dust and ashes."2 Man was created singularly, showing us that creation is for each of us personally. The key, then, to leading a successful and righteous life is to know when to retrieve and read each phrase.

1 In the book of Genesis, man is created singularly. From this, it is interpreted that creation is for the sake of each and every individual, not the collective human race and not for any individual(s).

2 Additionally, in the book of Genesis, it is said that man is created from the dust of the earth.

It can be:
trying to see things from
someone else's point of view
as well as
a drawing that separates images by a created, but false, distance

In the first instance- empathy is employed
or its cousin
fake empathy

In the second instance, shading and exaggerated lines trick the eyes
so it appears as though parts of the scenery are far away
It is only a trick- a sleight of hand

two different versions of falseness,
both masquerading as insight.

Before the discovery of linear perspective as an artistic technique, artists struggled for centuries with the difficult task of representing the illusion of depth in their paintings and sketches. You can clearly see from some medieval paintings (and earlier) that their best methods of the time were far from adequate. The artist and architect Brunelleschi first demonstrated its principles, architect and writer Leon Battista Alberi was the first to write down the rules, but by and large, it wasn't until the great Leonardo Da Vinci, who probably learned from Alberi, did the first poplar drawings and paintings with a clear horizon and vanishing point that the secret of representing depth accurately was finally unlocked. It was such a simple idea that it's a wonder that it wasn't thought of earlier (like a lot of things in this world).

There are many different forms of the perspective technique, each (except for one) differs by the number of points used. And as you'll see, the more points you add, the more complicated - and bizarre - the drawings become.

One Point Perspective

One point perspective is the simplest kind of perspective. Typically this is first taught to young art students in late elementary or early middle or junior high school (roughly fifth to seventh grade). It involves drawing a straight horizontal line across roughly the middle of the paper and placing a dot at around the center of the line.


The dot is the vanishing point. And the horizontal line is, well, the horizon. Typically the first thing a young artist is taught is to draw two angled lines and draw them back to the vanishing point to create a road going off into the distance.

                       / \
                      /   \
                     /     \
                    /       \
                   /         \

Another thing the young artist is taught to do is to maybe add some cacti: the ones closer to the vanishing point would be smaller and the ones further away would be bigger. (A road going off into the desert seems to be a common theme for these early perspective projects, probably because the scenery is simplified which allows for greater focus on the main learning task.)

Buildings are also added to the side of the road as the lesson advances, showing how this technique works with different shapes. Here to simplify the ASCII art here we're just going to present the building.

       |        | \
       |        |  |
       |        |  |
       |        | /

Hopefully this crude representation shows how you make a building, or box, in perspective. It involves drawing a rectangle and then drawing a line (most likely using a ruler or straight edge of some sort for accuracy, unless you have an amazingly steady hand) from each corner on one side back to the vanishing point. These lines are drawn very softly so they can easily be erased because they would just be orthogonal lines, or guidelines to just help with rendering the rest of the shape.

Two Point Perspective

Two point perspective involves having two vanishing points on the horizon. The perspective shifts in regards to how the viewer is looking at the shape, i.e. its corner in the case of a cube (building or a box). You draw one straight vertical line and then draw four guidelines going back to the vanishing point, two on each side from each end of the line.

              / | \              
             /  |  \
            /|  |  |\
           / |  |  | \ 
           \ |  |  | /
            \|  |  |/
             \  |  /
              \ | /

From there the rest of the shape is defined, the sidelines equidistant from each other if the viewer is looking straight at the corner, or not if you want to shift the perspective slightly to the left or to the right. Two point perspective is usually first introduced to art students at about seventh or eighth grade.

What if you're drawing a pyramid? Well, you'd simply draw two angled lines to define the rest of the shape in addition to taking part of the bottom guidelines to render the bottom of the pyramid. But how do you determine the angle of the angled lines? What are they pointing to? Sometimes you might need to add another perspective point.

Three Point Perspective

In three point perspective things begin to get a little strange. This is where you add a point either above or below the horizon. Besides the need to add a point in the case of pyramids (sometimes) usually the point (ha ha) of adding another point is to illustrate the viewer looking at the scene either from a point above or below the horizon in addition to looking at or being in a corner. Think of yourself looking down at a scene from being up at the ceiling in a corner. Or you're an ant looking up at a room from a corner at the floor. This can be quite fun to draw but a three point perspective lesson is almost always reserved for advanced students in high school (ninth or tenth grade). This is because the concept of it can be quite difficult to grasp for younger students as it involves a lot more thought into the concept of perspective as a whole - how simple shifts in the angle of viewing can alter the entire scene.

As to drawing it, add the aforementioned point either above or below the horizon line in addition to the points on the right and the left. Draw the vertical line. Now there are six guidelines to be drawn: the four in the example above with two added on either side drawing down or up to the third point.

     `                                     ´
       `                                 ´
        \`                             ´/
         \ `                         ´ /
          \  `                     ´  /
           \   `                 ´   /
            \    `             ´    / 
             \     `         ´     /
              \      `     ´      /
               \       `|´       /
                \       |       /
                 \      |      /
                  \     |     /
                   \    |    /
                    \   |   /
                     \  |  / 

Because of my limitations of character usage in terms of ASCII art I cannot give you a better example here. The drawing of the shape above should be thought of as incomplete with some lines needing to be drawn but you should get the idea. If not, see this.

Four Point Perspective

Here is where things get funky. This is something that I hadn't even thought was possible when I was learning three point. Usually (and I say "usually" because here is where you step out of practical applications of perspective and into art theory, i.e. you can really add the fourth point anywhere you want) this involves adding a fourth point, the result having a point on the right, left, bottom, and top of the picture. In the case of drawing a building two more guidelines are added and the tops and bottom lines of either side of the building go back to points on the right and left and on the bottom and top.

The best way to verbally describe the effect of four point perspective - and the angle of it - is that not only are you looking at the corner of a building, but you are zooming straight towards it. At perhaps a high rate of speed. Or, the viewer is looking at a very tall building and the top of it is above eye level and the bottom is below eye level. Sound weird? It is. I'm not even going to attempt ASCII art with this one. Check this out.

Normally lessons on four point perspective aren't covered until the advanced high school art classes, perhaps not until students are seniors.

Five Point Perspective

Now for even more funkiness. Now you add a fifth point in the center. Everything looks like you've put a transparent sphere in front of your eyes. Five-point perspective drawings create 180 degrees of visual space around the viewer. Check this out. By the way, I had never heard a lecture on anything beyond four point perspective until I was a freshman and sophomore in college.

Six Point Perspective

Didn't think it was possible did you? The sixth point is added behind the viewer. Yes, I said behind. To draw this you must turn the paper over (it helps if it's at least somewhat see-through) and draw what would be behind the viewer and thusly you've completed a 360-degree drawing.

Linear Perspective Beyond Six Point - or, Adding Points Willy Nilly

And here you get from weird and funky to bizarre - and even more into art theory. You can actually have a drawing with seven points, or nine, or ten, or one thousand, the more points you have, the more you get a drawing from Dr. Seuss' worst nightmare. The most benign example (and we're going to use my favorite subject again, a building) is let's say you have an architect who likes to partake in illicit substances while designing his buildings and he or she decides to make all the window overhangs off kilter, all wrong in precisely the same manner. If this building was actually built then drawing it would require adding another perspective point in addition to the one or two or three or four you already have.

If you can imagine lots of off kilter, or broken overhangs or trimming a point would need to be added for each example. And you can add these willy nilly points to two point, three point, four point - etc. - drawings. Which means you can have a four or six point perspective drawing that doesn't look like the examples above.

Atmospheric Perspective

This kind of perspective is totally different from all the point perspectives and applies to paintings only (if you are merely sketching shapes this won't have much relevance, if any). The only aspect it shares with the other is it is indeed a very simple concept that we all know to be true even if we don't consciously think about it. In other words, a young artist might struggle for years trying to figure out how to make his or her mountain scene he or she is painting more realistic and the young artist might get frustrated, knowing that there is something that's missing, some simple technique that would solve the problem, it's at the back of the mind. This might often be atmospheric perspective.

You ever notice how the further away things are, as you're looking far off into the distance, the more muted they appear? The more grey, or even blueish, the hills become? This is because the further away something is, the more molecules of air there are in between you and the object that diffuses the light (and therefore color) of the object. The dirtier the air the more this effect is pronounced, but no matter how clean the air is there are still those annoying oxygen and hydrogen (and other gases in normal air) molecules to contend with, making things more difficult to see the further away they are.

To make a nature scene (or really any scene) more realistic, a painter must employ this technique. Things Further Away should be muted more and more, depending on how far away from the viewer they're supposed to be. Colors should be greyed and lightened (adding a touch of blue might help, too - probably because the sky is blue and it is the most abundant color). Young painters usually aren't taught this technique until early-to-mid high school.

Atmospheric perspective is not a technique the late great painter Bob Ross often employed, if I may offer up an example of how really good paintings can be made even better. He rarely purposely muted things further away from the viewer, like mountains for example, one of his favorite subjects. Most often his technique was not to mute further off objects, but to put things in the extreme foreground in a very dark color, like his "happy little trees." Or his jolly little paths. Or some other positive emotion on objects or vegetation. Just think how much better those Bob Ross works could have been with more employment of atmospheric perspective.

No matter which perspective technique an artist uses the ultimate goal of each one is to trick the viewer with the illusion of depth. The more skilled the artist the more this deception is achieved. Also, the more skilled the artist, the more intuitive perspective becomes. Advanced artists might think it's too much trouble to bother to draw out the lines and points for the point perspectives. Some prefer to use them regardless of skill level in the interest of exact accuracy. Whether to utilize the techniques or not is up to the artist.

It's all a matter of perspective.

Source: http://www.mos.org/sln/Leonardo/ExploringLinearPerspective.html

Like almost anybody, I'd learned how to draw perspective in school. We stopped at one-point perspective as I recall, and in the drawing I've done I've never needed more than that - perhaps two-point perspective might come in useful some day.

One thing you don't seem to learn in school when you learn about perspective, is how to place the heights of different objects with regard to each other. You know that things get smaller as they approach the horizon, and you can use the guidelines like artman2003 describes above. But say you're drawing the road in the desert like he describes, and you want to add a cactus - how big should it be? If you draw a cactus somewhere in the desert, there's no way to know if it's either a small one, standing rather close, or a big one standing far away. Or even worse, you draw a camel (it's now a drawing of Morocco in stead of Arizona), and everyone knows how large a camel is supposed to be, and somehow it always seems the wrong size or position in your drawing. I remember trying this stuff and it never seeming quite right, it never came out quite like I wanted it to.

Then at an art class I learned a neat trick. It's a simple rule: the horizon is at your eye level. Anything that is below your eye level, you should draw below the horizon. Anything that is above your eye level, you should draw above the horizon.

I'm not even going to try to put this into ascii. Try doing it yourself with pen and paper, as follows: make a simple drawing of a road going off into the distance, toward the vanishing point. Artman2003 has given a perfect example. Now draw a person somewhere on the road (it can just be a stick figure if you can't draw that well, it doesn't matter). Pretend the person is the same height as you. This means the eyes of the person should be at the level of the horizon, and a small bit of the head sticks out above the horizon.

Got that? Now draw a larger person, somewhere in your drawing, again with the eyes at horizon level. See? If the difference in size is large enough, that second person now clearly seems to be standing closer than the first.

Now draw a third person, with his feet at the same height as the first, but his head sticking out above the horizon. You can now see that although this last person is drawn bigger than the first, he doesn't appear to be closer. It's clear that he is actally taller.

With the rule in mind, it gets easier to make things seem the right size. The distance (on your paper) to the horizon indicates how far away something is: the closer to the horizon, the farther away. You can estimate how far below or above the horizon the item should go by comparing it with yourself. Say your eye level is at 1.50 meter (mine is). Then when you draw a three meter tall object, half of it should be below the horizon and half above it. If the object is only 0.75 meter tall, then it only reaches half of the distance between it base and the horizon. And so on...

This system gets a bit more complicated if you draw from a different level than normal, standing on the ground eye level. If your point of view is high in the sky, then everything is below your eye level and thus below the horizon. Or vice versa, if your point of view is just above the ground, then all parts of a person except for the feet stick out above the horizon. (Try it! Take your drawing and draw a new horizon, above or below the previous one, and add a new road for reference. You should be able to see how much difference that makes for how big your people seem). The rule that the horizon is at eye level still counts in these case, but the calculation of how far things should stick out above the horizon (or stay below it) is a bit harder.

Now that you know the trick, you can always make your cacti appear the right size. Happy drawing!

For ages, it seems, man has looked up to the birds soaring free in the boundless blue and dreamed that one day, through some ingenious mechanism of science or powerful wizardry, he too could manage never to hear anything about Donald Trump or the goddamn Kardashians ever again. Also it would be kind of nice to fly.

My own experience with human flight mainly involves paragliders (essentially elongated, elliptical parachutes), and has been variously terrifying and exalted. The last time I flew one was on a crisp, spring morning at Point of the Mountain near Salt Lake City, Utah, almost thirty years ago.

I'd gone there to learn paragliding from a qualified, professional instructor. This represented a distinct departure from my previous approach to the sport two years earlier, which consisted more or less of pulling the thing out of a box, strapping it on, and jumping off a cliff. I don't recommend that. Not even if you're in a real big hurry. It very nearly killed me, and it cost about a year of my life and the bottom third of my right lung.

Two moments from that SLC trip have kept their shape and mass, not yet sublimating into a formless, invisible gas like so many other lost memories. The first was a particularly cool top of the hill landing.



Getting your basic paraglider pilot "A" rating back then required you to do a couple of things including landing right back where you took off from. The ridge-lift was good on the morning I was to attempt this; ten to fifteen knot winds sweeping up the mountainside and curling skywards. Important, because you can't land back topside if you don't climb first.

The trick for a solid top landing, once you've won enough altitude, is to turn ninety-degrees from the plane of the ridge face and fly straight downwind, out of the lift band and right over your takeoff site. Then you make a 180 back into the wind at just the distance you're going to need to glide down without overshooting the ledge. But how do you compute all that without instruments, without knowing your actual speed, and angle of descent?

I don't know. But the calculations my brain made unconsciously on my very first attempt were perfect. It was as if I were just remembering some ancient and infallible instinct. Like walking. It was effortless.

My instructor stood maybe fifteen feet from the windward edge of the plateau. And without thinking much about it, I just willed myself to land there beside her. I made my upwind turn, then intuitively adjusted the brakes that curled the trailing edge of my ram-air wing. Pulling them, easing off, pulling again, slowing my forward motion, sinking in, floating down closer. I was headed pretty much straight at her. She didn't move. Just smiled up at me, hands in pockets, the breeze at her back fluttering her fine, blond hair forward.

Barely moving forward at all now, I softly touched my feet to earth. A few feet in front of her and a little to the left. Like Superman, or a god descending from Olympus to visit awhile with mortals. That's the first moment I mentioned.



The other one occurred later on the same day. I have to explain first that a paraglider cuts through the air at about twenty or so knots. So if you're heading into the wind, and the wind is blowing at that same twenty knots--your ground speed is going to be around zero. And if there's no lift under you, you will just sink vertically, down to the ground, as if you're riding the world's least practical elevator.

But with lift? Ah, well, that's something else entirely. With the right amount of lift in fact, just equal to your sink rate, you sort of hang there in the air. It's like a magic trick, or a miracle. You've probably seen hawks doing this on hillsides or near cliff edges. And I saw that sight too, on that day. But from a whole new point of view.

The wind had been picking up steadily all morning and it just reached my canopy's penetration speed. I knew that because when I banked into that wind, I found myself frozen there in the sky. From the ground I might have appeared like a giant, multicolored raptor, hunting the mountainside.

Not terribly high up, maybe three stories over the slope, I sat gently rocking under the canopy, making small directional corrections with the toggles. I had never known such a sense of ease and satisfaction, and never felt it again so fully. No fear. Nor excitement. Just peace. Stillness. Just being. It was... perfect.

And then, looking off my right wing tip, I spotted it. Maybe fifteen feet away. A Red-Tailed Hawk. It was stationary in the air too, at precisely my altitude. And I had the distinct impression that it was flying not just beside me, but with me. I imagined a brief conversation--


What are you looking at? Prey

No. No, not hunting. Just flying. Sorry.

No hunting? Why stay so still?

Uh, just because I can. I'm new to this. I'm not really supposed to be up here at all.

You are here. All who are here belong, or else are not here.

Yes, I was there. I did belong. And I felt as though I'd been accepted into a very exclusive club right then. Just another bird, me, a large one who may have spotted something tasty down there that was worth inspecting.

We flew together, hawk and man, for maybe three or four minutes, until my new friend seemed to conclude that there was in fact no gopher or rabbit to be found here, and soared away.

I can close my eyes right now and still see the whole scene, feel the cool air on my cheeks, hear the soft hiss of the wind through long grasses below, smell the Utah dirt as it surrendered the captured night moisture back to the day, watch the wind ruffle the Red Tail's primary wing feathers. It's a treasure, that memory. The only real kind of treasure.



Two years before, it was all not nearly so lovely. I still have those memories too. I remember cracking open sticky eyelids, not knowing where the hell I was or why my breathing felt so mechanical. A PFFFFT, PFFFFT sound repeating somewhere nearby. I remember seeing a young intern's face, smiling down at me.

In a cartoon surfer's voice he laughed and said, "Du-hude! You almost didn't make it, man!"



Black Rocks salt flats, near Las Vegas, Nevada. The world's land speed record was set there. Also it's the place where a series of my own personal mistakes and fears came to a very bloody head.

At the north end of the flats there's a slope of dark, volcanic rock. All boulders, about the size of small cars. Not grassy and forgiving hillsides, like the terrain near the Point of the Mountain take off spot. No, flying at Black Rocks you either made it to the bottom and to the dry lake bed out there, or you landed back up at the top of the hill. Or you were seriously fucked.

"I wouldn't try it. If there's not enough lift..." Mike said.

I'd picked a launch spot that had a steep drop off before the slope shallowed out farther downfield. I didn't know it was the worst thing to do on a low wind, low lift day like that one. I didn't know anything about flying then. You get airborne off a cliff in a set-up like that and then moments later, if there are no updrafts, your glide angle turns out to be steeper than the slope below the cliff. Which, you will remember, consisted here of giant, sharp-edged lava boulders. Not good.

My best buddy and performing partner, Mike, was imagining precisely that scenario. And he had just given me the sternest warning that his deep respect for individual freedom of choice would allow. I had imagined it too, by the way. I just didn't care that much.



Mike and I were working together nightly as a comedy juggling team in the Folies Bergere back there in town. It was the average variety performer's dream come true, but it had turned into my artistic nightmare. A nightmare that paid me very well to work for less than twenty minutes a night alongside giant, naked women. Yeah, I know. Pity me.

Problem was I had no desire to spend my life as one half of a two-man juggling act, even a successful one. Nothing wrong with it, just not my dream. At the same time, though, I was terrified that if I attempted other things, say, stand-up comedy, acting, whatever, and I failed--well, that would be a disaster, right? I might even have to surrender the extremely convenient fiction that the only reason I had never achieved anything resembling greatness in my work was that I had never really tried. And I couldn't risk that.

However, throwing myself into space without any real preparation, where an accident could be disastrous, or even fatal? That I could do. Because I wasn't terribly afraid of dying. It was living that was scaring the shit out of me.



I launched, I was airborne, the canopy fully-inflated. I started gaining speed, and straightaway it looked like I was headed right at a jagged boulder down there below the cliff. I wasn't sure though. Maybe I'd clear it. But no, my glide angle was too steep.

I should have flared the canopy then. That would have turned my speed into lift, and then even if I stalled and sank down, it wouldn't have been from very high up. But I didn't. I did nothing but hope for the best, which turns out to be a rather ineffective aeronautical maneuver.

I slammed into the rock at full speed. The impact crushed my ribcage and shards of splintered bone tore into my right lung.

"Are you okay?" Mike shouted down from the takeoff site.

"Not really."

I knew I was hurt. I thought it might be pretty bad. In a few minutes my right lung collapsed and breathing started to be a challenge. Then the real pain arrived. Yeah, this was bad.

"I can get a life-flight helicopter," Mike said.

There were no cell phones back then for the not rich. Mike was suggesting he hike back down off the ridge, jump into the car, and drive to the nearest pay phone. I probably wouldn't see him again--if I saw him again--for at least an hour. Likely more.

"Take my arm. Help me climb down to the car."

I decided without hesitation that I would rather die trying to get to a hospital than sitting there alone on that empty, black, lava slope. I was already fighting shock. Mike was fighting tears.

We struggled down, boulder by boulder, and raced back to town.


During emergency surgery my heart stopped beating. There were no visions. No lights or tunnels or smiling bygone relatives. There was nothing. But earlier, before I finally and blessedly blacked out, there was a revelation.

All the fears that had stagnated my life, fear of artistic failure, fear of loss of income, of disapproval, even of my own potential mediocrity--as the ER staff at Sunrise Medical Center prepped me, with blood still flooding my pleural cavity, squeezing out my one good lung, none of that stuff meant anything. It was not important right then. And that was not the revelation.

The revelation was that it never had been.

People sometimes ask, when they hear about the whole episode--"Did it turn your life around?" And the answer is yes, and also that this doesn't mean what you think it means.

Yes, I got turned around by it. I was facing a new direction. I had a new perspective, and I was looking down a road I'd never looked down before. But that in itself didn't change anything. It was going to take a lot of walking in that new direction to do that. With a lot of side trips, and a fair amount of backtracking. And a pilgrimage to Salt Lake City, two years later, to try and learn how to fly.

But I'm still on that road. And I still see things a little differently. And I'm still learning how to fly.

Per*spec"tive (?), a. [L. perspicere, perspectum, to look through; per + spicere, specere, to look: cf. F. perspectif; or from E. perspective, n. See Spy, n.]


Of or pertaining to the science of vision; optical.




Pertaining to the art, or in accordance with the laws, of perspective.

Perspective plane, the plane or surface on which the objects are delineated, or the picture drawn; the plane of projection; -- distinguished from the ground plane, which is that on which the objects are represented as standing. When this plane is oblique to the principal face of the object, the perspective is called oblique perspective; when parallel to that face, parallel perspective. -- Perspective shell Zool., any shell of the genus Solarium and allied genera. See Solarium.


© Webster 1913.

Per*spec"tive, n. [F. perspective, fr. perspectif: cf. It. perspettiva. See Perspective, a.]


A glass through which objects are viewed.

[Obs.] "Not a perspective, but a mirror."

Sir T. Browne.


That which is seen through an opening; a view; a vista.

"The perspective of life."



The effect of distance upon the appearance of objects, by means of which the eye recognized them as being at a more or less measurable distance. Hence, aerial perspective, the assumed greater vagueness or uncertainty of outline in distant objects.

Aerial perspective is the expression of space by any means whatsoever, sharpness of edge, vividness of color, etc. Ruskin.


The art and the science of so delineating objects that they shall seem to grow smaller as they recede from the eye; -- called also linear perspective.


A drawing in linear perspective.

Isometrical perspective, an inaccurate term for a mechanical way of representing objects in the direction of the diagonal of a cube. -- Perspective glass, a telescope which shows objects in the right position.


© Webster 1913.

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