life, life lessons, perspective

A Matter of Perspective

Lily Chang © 2020


I’m not going to give drawing advice, here. No way. I’m terrible at it. Rather, I want to share a valuable lesson I learned from my art teacher on how to draw people:

Do NOT draw how you believe a person should look.

Instead, DO draw what you see.

That’s what the model is for. We learn to observe what is before us and then record what we see. The perspective from where the art student sits, with respect to the model, matters.

What was interesting when I did this perspective drawing was: everyone’s drawings ended up looking somewhat different, even though we were looking at the same model. You can guess why, right?


I’ve decided that paying attention to where I sit or how I’m stuck and perhaps changing perspective helps, especially through this pandemic and assorted craziness in life, right now.

Life has been a bit weird and overwhelming in the past few months. The unexpected house and car repairs didn’t help:

  • The back patio hose pipe needed to be replaced.
  • I needed to install an external water line for the swamp cooler. We don’t have air conditioning, and we cool our house by way of an evaporative cooler. The internal water line we had, had busted and sent water from the attic through the upstairs bathroom, all the way to the downstairs bathroom. Lots of summer fun.
  • Two of my tires were treading 3/4 and needed to be replaced.
  • Whenever I’d drive past 55 mph and put on my brakes, my whole car shook. I needed to have my front brake rotors resurfaced.

Then, more recently, my dishwasher latch broke. With four kiddos in the house, who seem to have insatiable appetites, I need a working dishwasher. Our lives are too hectic to have to wash the dishes by hand. I had to get our dishwasher repaired.

For added fun, when the Denver area had its freak snow storm hit earlier this week,  I turned on my heater for the first time this season and it wouldn’t shut off. My thermostat had to be replaced.

And, earlier today, when my four kiddos were doing their schooling via remote learning, the electricity went out. Panic ensued and everyone started yelling. As if that would somehow endow me with the magical powers to reinstate the electricity needed to get the modem up and running and get the kiddos back to their live meetings and assignments. I’m not laden with such superhero powers. Sorry.

That doesn’t even begin to describe all that has gone wrong over the past six months.

However, my complaints stop there.


Yesterday, I found out that a friend’s sister lost her home to the wildfires that have affected California and neighboring areas. She had enough notice to fill a car with her belongings, but that’s it. How did she choose what to save in a short period of time? How will she come to terms with what she has lost? How does life continue after that?

Lily Chang © 2020

Things could have been much worse for us.

The water from the internal water line, that was supposed to carry water up to the swamp cooler, could have done more damage, to the ceiling or walls.

The problem with the heat could have been more than just the thermostat. I could have had a problem with my furnace, which is pretty old.

Many other, worse problems could have happened.

But they haven’t.

I am thankful. Even with costly repairs, I still have a home. Even with continued maintenance required, I still have a car. In spite of the fact that we are in a recession, the kiddos and I still have food to eat. Through this pandemic, so far, we’ve been in good health. And, we have friends surrounding us, supporting us, loving us. We live in a community where people care.

Life is good.


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