I am taking a few days break away from the Forest at the moment. This is the first break I have managed since being rather ill earlier in the year and is a welcome relief after the challenges of Holy Week and Easter Sunday. We are currently back in our former stamping ground of Liverpool, visiting old friends.
This morning we went to the Albert Dock, somewhere I have not visited for about twelve years. In the intervening time there has been a lot of development down by the waterfront. New buildings – shops, offices and hotels – have arrived and a new arena for sport and entertainment events has been built. Driving past the Liver building we commented on how some of the new buildings seemed inappropriate to the setting. Two black/dark grey buildings looked particularly out of place.
The buildings seemed to block out the previous view of the “Three Graces” of the Liverpool waterfront skyline – the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the old Mersey Docks and Harbour Board building. These three buildings are glorious in their style and scale.
After coffee and lunch we visited the Tate Modern art gallery and spent an hour and a half looking at the current exhibits of twentieth and twenty-first century art and sculpture. There were some interesting pieces on show and we came away pleased with out visit and headd forthe car before the parking ticket expired.
It was then that I had something of an epiphany. The two black buildings suddenly made perfect sense.
From my new vantage point, one of them recalled the hull of a great Atlantic liner towering over part of the dock as such a ship might have done in the heyday of transatlantic ocean travel the 1930s. Furthermore, from this viewpoint the Three Graces form the liner’s superstructure. A change of perspective helped me to catch something of the vision of the building’s architect. I may not have necessarily been convinced, but I felt I now understood.
In what areas of our lives and thinking might a change of perspective help us better understand someone else’s viewpoint?