La Vida Brinca: Life Jumps

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While in Mexico two weeks ago, I lost track of how often we were offered tequila.  Seriously.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner, our resort hosts were a bit befuddled by the two non-drinking women from Tejas who politely asked for water or Coke Light.

Vacations are for celebration, they said, and had I been at their resort prior to 1991, I would have definitely agreed.  At breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Mucho tequila.

Today is Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday commemorating victory over the French military forces of Napoleon III in the Battle of Puebla in 1862.  Of course, through the years, the holiday has spilled into a time for folks in the United States to celebrate too.  More tequila!

La vida brinca

A photographer and screenwriter named Bill Wittliff brought the phrase to life when he used a camera technique called pinhole photography to depict everyday Hispanic living.

He published a book called La Vida Brinca filled with photographs that have a soft, fuzzy edge.  Without the aid of a lens, the viewer gets to interpret meaning from a raw, unadorned image.  Texas Monthly Magazine pondered the “spiritual and mystical” element of the photos when the book was published in 2006.

The University of Texas Press wrote that Wittliff’s method of shooting tranquil landscapes, religious ceremonies, siestas and, yes, celebrations, “is an ideal vehicle for finding profound meaning in the commonplace, for seeing beyond what the eye can see.” 

Life jumps. It frequently surprises, even mesmerizes the person living the life. @bheretoday (Click now to tweet!) Yet, what if we could bring our visual aperture down to the size of a pinhole, then close one eye and squint through the tiny opening with the other eye?

Would we too find profound meaning in the commonplace and apply imagination “beyond what the eye can see”?

Celebrate the simple, watch for the profound

It’s tempting this week to carry around a piece of paper with a tiny pinhole in the center for the times when life starts jumping.  If I close one eye and squinch up the other, I’ll bet that what I think I’m seeing–the crazy, shifting, startling images that my mind’s eye conjures up, will soften.

I really want to see the simple and profound this week.  In fact, in the spirit of acting as if, I’m stating right now that this week IS simple and profound.

Let life jump.  I’ll watch through my pinhole.  Trust me, it’s better than drinking tequila.

Photo courtesy of pippalou

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