Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Random Thought #4: Look Up!

Dogs can't do it, but you can. And in a very "Dead Poet's Society" way, it does in fact open up a new perspective.

As I recently walked through St. Katherine's Dock, a location I pass through with quite some regularity, I found myself waiting in a queue at the ATM, killing time, leaning backwards and spotting some artefact on a wall I hadn't seen before since I had never looked up there.

It turned out (as indicated by a plaque) that the artefact, a block of clear perspex showing a picture of a crown (more on it here) was planned to be featured in the Stanley Kubrick movie 2001: A Space Odyssey but was then replaced by the very well-known monolith.

I was fairly surprised that such a thing had escaped my attention for all the times I had walked past but felt that it simply confirms common sense.

Most of the time we only pay attention to what is clear view, usually at eye level and below. This is why supermarkets put whatever they want to sell you right there and not at a height of 7 feet. You wouldn't simply notice things up there (and you wouldn't be able to reach them but that's secondary).

On occasions it is great fun to walk through London and force yourself to pay attention to everything higher than let's say 10 feet.

You will be surprised about the amount of Gargoyles and statues you will find, as much as you will be simply putting a new angle on buildings that you might have walked past hundreds of times.

It beats reading the METRO hands down.

And by the way, dogs can look up as well but I thought it would make for a good opener.