Yesterday on my way to Tryon I was following a pick up truck piled high with "stuff" in the bed. I saw an interesting chair perched on top, leaning to the right, sort of bouncing along. It seemed to be an old metal chair, painted blue, with rust spots, and it conjured up a whole story in my head. Chairs do that to me. I wondered whether the owner of the pick up truck had found it by the side of the road, awaiting the trash collector, and recognizing the life still left in the old dear, had stopped and rescued it from its fateful trip to the landfill.
I imagined how the chair was feeling pretty jaunty now, being saved from an ignoble end, and happy to be on its way to a new adventure. Perhaps it would be placed under a tree, ready for its new owner to bring a book to get lost in, or binoculars to view the nearby field for birds. Or maybe it would get sanded and repainted and be proudly placed on a front porch to watch the world go by.
As I followed that truck, watching the chair jiggle with excitement about its new life, I wondered what else was in the truck. I realized with a start, that there was a wheel behind the chair. A rubber wheel. And then it dawned on me that my lovely blue chair was actually an upside-down wheel barrow! The handles were "the arms" and the flat supporting piece between the legs was what I had seen as the back of the chair.
This ambiguity and my subsequent inner narrative reminded me quite poignantly that "truth" is a viewpoint, often miscontrued because of our penchant to see things through the lens of what we already believe. Strangely enough, my little interlude of fantasy, conjured for the non-existent chair, didn't distress me, now that I knew I had been wrong. It just made me smile and remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The wheel barrow's rusty blue paint was still attractive to me, although I laughed thinking that it was never going to be parked under a tree, cradling the bottom of some lucky reader.