Which is the true nightmare, the horrific dream that you have in your sleep or the dissatisfied reality that awaits you when you awake? -Justin Alcala
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]My dear mother, whom I view now as a paragon on patience, more than once rolled her eyes in despair as she muttered in my general direction, “You’re just like a goose: you wake up in a new world every morning.” I don’t know how true that is of geese, but for children under the age of ten or so reality is a variable that changes on a whim. There is nothing that is not possible and no adult can convince them otherwise. Varying reality is a given. A child’s creativity and imagination create multiple complex universes that make perfect sense to the child and totally bale adults. A new world every morning? Why not?
Politicians have a way of creating their own varying realities as well, though perhaps without as much amusement as that of a five-year-old. Politicians give words and worlds different meanings, create vocabularies the rest of us can’t hope to understand, and argue over the meaning of is. By politicians’ reasoning, charity is bad if it comes from their pocket but good if they’re receiving an act of kindness. Taxation is bad if it effects them and their campaign donors, but necessary to keep the poor engaged. Civil rights are fineto talk about until it means sharing a restroom with a gay person and his transgender spouse. Politicians rarely have any concept of reality that aligns with that of their constituents.
We can also lose reality, which is a very frightening proposition. I remember watching my granddaddy suffer through the stages of Alzheimer’s disease. I was too young to totally understand everything that was going on, but watching his world change from something sure to a unstable mix of memories was horrifying. 5.3 million people have Alzheimer’s and for them reality can change with the blink of an eye. I can hardly think of anything more nightmarish.[/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10 px”]By comparison, creating alternate realities in Photoshop ™ is easy. All one needs is a bit of imagination and a truck load of patience. Here, we really can begin to create the worlds we imagined as children. Elephants can be any color we want and may fit in a box we keep on a shelf if that’s how we choose to portray them. Light can come from multiple directions at the same time (which isn’t always a good thing) and laws of physics are easily suspended. For a number of very creative people, varying reality is what they do best and we delight in seeing this alternative universe.
Not that everyone is equally gifted in creating new worlds. Creating new space, finding balance and just the right amount of light and shadow requires a level of patience few have. Plug-ins offer some hope of speeding the process, but applied inappropriately or incorrectly they can result in a horrible display of mismatched elements and conflicting tonality. Today’s image took the better part of the days to create and by comparison with some is not even all that challenging.
No one lives in a prefect world and because of that our imagination is consumed with varying realities that solve our problems and make living a little more fun. Digital manipulation allows us to bring some of those realities to life, to get them out of our heads where we can deal with them. Some days is like waking up in a new world every morning. It certainly beats hours of therapy.[/one_half_last]