Thought #24. Keep calm and take life philosophically.

“Unfinished India” is a personal favourite of mine. Photography is a tricky discipline not only from the point of view of the photographer but also from the viewer’s. When I took this one I had to carefully choose the framing. There were infinite options and I decided to include the minimum amount of information needed to leave it open to interpretation. Half a cow, half a man and a pool of…

To make an interpretation (artistic or not) is always extremely difficult. The aim of philosophers is to try and work out the best way to think about things. For all intents and purposes, we all try and work out how to think about things. A simple picture but also an existential question demands something more than mere observation.

In this example, the most important element is neither the framing nor any included visual clue. Interpretation is what really counts. This post is entitled “Keep calm and take life philosophically”, a message not intended to be conveyed to the reader but to myself. I know full well what was going on there when I took the photo, thus I can find meaning from this passage from my memory recollections. And as yet I prefer to devise a different story.

Premises could lead to hasty conclusions. The man and the cow were just sleeping near a pool of water in the shape of India. I often try to disavow the link between my beliefs and my thoughts; I seldom succeed. Realising how to deal with everyday problems philosophically is a tough job. Only by dismissing some of the obvious premises or facts will I be able to achieve my goal. And more often than not, I am confronted with a new situation or problem that requires a different approach.

My life baggage must have served a very useful purpose. However, little did I know that someday I would be discarding my deeply held beliefs in an uphill struggle to take it easy, to take life philosophically. But I have to, I need to, I do not have any other option.

There is only so much a person can learn through life. Fight or surrender.