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Looking at something is not the same as seeing it.

It took us months to recognize our mother’s face as a new being.

Growing up also meant enhancing our ability to associate meaning with what we looking at.

In adulthood, this process happens subconsciously based on our accumulated experiences, senses that perceive them, and our respective cultures.

Wind and water currents shape the surface of the Montreal River below the Golden Stairs waterfalls, Ontario
The range of our own experiences limits our perception.

 Is the above picture of conflicting forces or a photo of the water's surface in turbulent conditions?

A view of art or a rendering of reality?

Its value comes to the fore when a viewer is instantly struck with its meaning. Or, it materializes through

an exchange of its understanding with other viewers.

Spring scene from Minesing Wetlands in Ontario
In the arts, the word “landscape” refers to a representation of land in a way that pleases our senses.
The images above and below capture landscapes in southern Ontario as they look today.
Suppose, for a moment, they looked exactly the opposite way in the past. This statement bridges the gap of time and space between these two places with a new meaningful connection; life processes.
The low water level in Great Lakes exposes vast stretches of otherwise submerged bedrock of the Canadian Shield.
Chaos is a natural state of matter in the universe. Life as we know it,
a fragile homeostatic equilibrium, is a notable exception. The purposeful life's modulation of atmospheric content has sustained live existence for eons. The inflow and outflow of solar energy primarily depended on water vapour and carbon-containing molecules.

Life survives by carving out an orderly space of living conditions in the physical world, where the natural state of matter is a disorder.

Are we working with or working against natural processes? Do we collectively know what each choice entails or the cost or consequences? How do we assess the value of Life, then?
The cast shadow of a man and the fire damage of the Great Canadian Shield environment.
Both beauty and perceptions of reality are in the eye and mind of the beholder.
However, as we all share human culture, finding common understandings that connect us should be easier than those dividing us. After all, like everyone else, I need oxygen in every breath I take and a
clean, reliable water and food supply on my table.

Casualties have no voice in the narratives that follow them.
Urban building with connections to municipal infrastructure mounted on the outside wall painted with natural landscape motives.
Emotions come and go, but ideas have staying power. The endurance of meanings depends on an understanding of what they convey. They are like stories. Sometimes, they fade away; other times, they endure in our memories, with all traits, like images, of a "staying power."

"The painter constructs, the photographer discloses."
Susan Sontag, an American writer.

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