Vanishing Point

“Vanishing point” is a term applied to graphic images, which describes an imaginary point where all perspective lines converge. As a youngster I was intrigued with vanishing points, perhaps thinking that if I could follow, say, the highway in a picture, I’d gradually shrink smaller and smaller then finally disappear. Or possibly I’d pop through into another world where I was something or somebody else besides me. Who would I be on the other side of the vanishing point I wondered?

On the cover of a Whole Earth Catalog during the 1970s, the slogan appeared: “Wherever you go, there you are.” * I thought this a very unromantic bit of wisdom, since it defused my fantasy of what lay beyond the vanishing point.

IMG_2346aAs an adult, I notice the vanishing point theme shows up in many of my photos, indicating the persistence of my intrigue with associated ideas. I almost entitled this piece, “Beyond Infinity,” because I felt an equivalence between infinity and vanishing points. Both expressions remind me of a way that I used to rattle my brain as a child when I was falling asleep at night: I’d try to imagine what lay outside the universe.

Possibly the best visualization of what lies beyond the vanishing point or outside the universe is the world Lewis Carroll envisioned existing on the far side of the looking glass. Speaking of a looking glass, If you want to rattle your own brain, and tweak (not tweet!) your imagination, hold a large mirror horizontally under your chin while looking down into it and walking around the house, then out the door. Be sure to take a guide with you so that you don’t trip and do worse to your brain that rattle it.

With that, I’ll leave you, probably with your imagination swirling and perhaps thinking of people or things you’d like to point at and see vanish. Visit us for more Vanishing Point images.

*That’s what I remember, but John Kabat-Zinn published a book by that title in 1994, which has been reprinted a number of times since. If you search for the expression on the Web, it’s been attributed to a number of sources of wisdom throughout the ages. However, if it was a truly popular idea the “war on drugs” would probably be unnecessary.

Kevin Jones