For one moment could I imagine a world that’s bigger than my own? Could I entertain the idea that my perception of a question or scenario could be completely false? How about the notion that two seemingly opposite ideas can actually co-exist?
either/or either/or either/or — always with the either/or …
This morning I was getting my regular coffee at Lit and I asked the baristo if he knew where I could develop some camera film in the neighbourhood. He suggested I ask one of the customers, who was also in line, and the response from him was, “oh god, I don’t know. I’m a digital guy. Go to Yonge Street (we’re on Roncesvalles) or Black’s. Yeah Black’s …” Black’s, at Dufferin Mall? His tone was very dismissive.
Those of you who know me know that “I’m a digital guy” too. My family had the first digital SLR as soon as it came out. We are digi/gadgety people. I didn’t tell that guy or pursue the matter further because he didn’t care and he’d already made up his mind that my question was coming from a place stuck in the past.
In fact, the reality couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’ve been experimenting with digital lomography and toy cameras for the past couple years (VistaQuest1015 Entry was my first camera and I have a 1015R2 on the way!) and recently I thought it would be good to learn how to use a real lomography camera, and when I say “real” I mean analogue. A film camera.
So, a couple weeks ago I took a workshop at the Lomography store on Queen. The majority of the workshop was shooting in the field and as a result I have a roll of film I need to get developed. A roll of film I’m quite excited about.
I guess that makes me a digital guy AND an analogue guy… does it make your head explode?
Our friend in the coffee shop makes me wonder … how often do I dismiss someone I believe to be stuck in the past or not worthy of my attention? Shut down a conversation before it begins? Kill a potential connection because of my misperceptions? And how often as a society do we do it to each other?
People are complicated, the variables are infinite. The idea that “truth is stranger than fiction” must hold true — there are just too many of us with so many interesting stories for it not to. So why do we choose to see people as two-dimensional, as beings in opposition to who we are ourselves?
At the very least we’re missing out on potentially enriching, valuable and interesting conversations in coffee shops.