What you see is not always all there is to see.

When I took this photo of the window washers, I was focused on capturing the three individuals hanging off the side of the building.

They looked ethereal. Surreal. Courageous.

I stood and watched and wondered about what was happening for them in that moment of hanging around on the side of a glass building.

Were they talking to one another? Were they talking politics? Telling jokes? Laughing at us wee humans down below on the sidewalk?

What was going on?

I loaded the photo to instagram, again calling attention to the 3 individuals hanging together.

And then, I noticed the fourth person. The one down in the bottom left corner.

I hadn’t noticed them when I took the photo. Didn’t even realize they were there.

How often does that happen in my life, I wondered? That I become so focused on what is right before my eyes, I don’t notice the things happening on the periphery. The stories unfolding elsewhere on the page before me?

Life is a huge tapestry of people and animals, plants, things in constant motion. It is always changing. Always evolving.

Sometimes, it’s easy to get so immersed into seeing what’s right in front of us, good or bad, we don’t stop to remember all around us there is a whole world of possibility unfolding.

And I wonder.

What story was the lone window washer telling themselves about the fact they were not part of the big story unfolding up above?

Did they realize no one noticed them?

Did they think they were the big story?

Did they even give a single thought to the people below (there were several of us watching the 3 window washers) or were they so engrossed in their work, they were oblivious to everything else?

It’s all in our perspective.

We can either see only the obvious things on our path, or the treasures at the edges.

We can see the troubles or the possibilities. The ugliness or the beauty. The unhappy stories or the glad tidings.

It all depends on where we put our attention, and how willing we are to look beyond the obvious to the periphery of our imagination and vision for other perspectives, differering stories.

I took a picture of three window washers. The fourth one held the bigger story for me.


Someone who always inspires me in seeing beyond the obvious is Ann Koplow at her blog “The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally“. Everyday she posts photos of things she sees and always, she enchants me with her sights and insights. Check her out! Maybe you’ll be enchanted too!