This photograph is one of my favorites from Vivian Maier. She captured the beauty of a day in Chicago. It appears to have rained in late autumn or winter, and a man and his children are out for a walk. Notice that the young lady is looking back at something or someone; maybe it the photographer herself.
Look closely at the reflection. It has details in it that you don’t see in the reality. The three have no feet, and they look a smidge shorter. There are no shadows in of the three in the reflection. Also notice that the sun appears near the man’s shoulder in the reflection, and yet there is no sun in the reality. Yet the reality has park benches and another person in the distance. There is grass and earth and long wall.
If you understand physics, it is because the reflection from the puddle catches a different and more limited perspective. The sun in the reality is actually overhead, and the people appear shorter because of the angle. Its the same scene, but strangely different. The artist has caught two perspectives; like catching two worlds in one photograph.
In C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce, you get a contrast between Heaven and Hell. Hell is a grim and joyless city where the more evil you are, the farther out you live…in isolation. Heaven, on the other hand, is the most beautiful and luscious landscape you have ever seen. It is more real than the humans who have travelled to this place. In fact, it is so real that some of the humans can’t stand being there, and they ask to return to the grim and joyless city. For them, Heaven is Hell!
Two worlds in one picture.
What if our reality is actually the reflection in the pool of water? What if the rest of the photograph represents being in the presence of God. What if the man represents God, and the children represent humanity reunited with God? In the presence of God, we will see all the details that we could never see while travelling on this big blue super computer trying to help us grasp life, the universe, and everything.