Photo Essay: Crystallization


1 - wingtip lake michegan

There’s an old bit of business jargon about a forty (or perhaps thirty? twenty? ten?)* thousand foot view.  The idea of this term is that “at a high level” you stop focusing on minutia and can see the “big picture” and make out the “broad strokes” of the “larger landscape.”

2 - wingtip lake michegan crystals

But perhaps a better metaphor is this: When you’re up in the stratosphere, untethered from the mundane day-to-day realities and barrages of information, that’s when some of the smallest ideas can crystallize and express their beautiful intricacy.

4 - airplane window ice crystals

Rather than losing sight of the details here at cruising altitude you can finally see the small, hidden possibilities. You are able to read the glyphs of a wordless language that were there all along, scratched out and buried beneath the surface of your distracted consciousness.

3 - airplane window ice crystals

So take note of what you see and what you read up there, because when you come back down to earth, it will quickly melt away and run off with the daily currents.

5 - airplane window melted crystal droplets

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About danspira

My blog is at: http://danspira.com. My face in real life appears at a higher resolution, although I do feel pixelated sometimes.

Posted on May 22, 2015, in Inspiration, Metaphors, photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. * Just for fun, I checked the number of Google results for a few variations on the phrase “x-thousand foot view.” It looks like the number of results soar to about 20,000 feet, nosedive for a while, then rocket back up at 50,000 feet.

    10,000 foot view: 29,500,000 results
    15,000 foot view: 30,800,000 results
    20,000 foot view: 49,200,000 results
    25,000 foot view: 1,910,000 results
    30,000 foot view: 2,160,000 results
    35,000 foot view: 2,680,000 results
    40,000 foot view: 1,770,000 results
    45,000 foot view: 834,000 results
    50,000 foot view: 41,600,000 results

    Commercial aircraft typically cruise in the range of 30,000 – 45,000 feet, but somehow the lower altitudes get an order of magnitude more mentions. Skydiving, perhaps?

    As for the unit of measure, the phrase is almost certainly American or British in origin. Probably American.

    Meters don’t get much love in all this. If it’s a web page mentioning 10,000 meters, it’s likely talking about a running track race.

    Some jargon wizards on Wikipedia try to differentiate the 30k vs. 50k foot views, for middle vs. senior management perspectives. Yes, ridiculous. Evidently, CXOs use rocket propulsion to deal with the thin atmosphere they work in.

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