While I have been so busy, I did smile broadly this morning when I came across an article in this morning’s New York Times, The Big Draw of a GPS Run. While the articles itself was fascinating (never considered turning on GPS and creating art with it!), I think there was a profound insight contained in a quote by Ellen Worthing, a GPS-using hiker, at the end of the article:
She likes that with a GPS device she can reimagine a landscape so imbued with history, patriotism and war. “Do we need to see what the U.S. Park Service wants us to see?” she asked. “Or can we see what we want to see?”
Creating her art as a contrast to the “established” purpose of the Fort McHenry National Monument, she exemplified freedom in a way I have not really considered before. Who are you to tell me what I see? Who are you to tell me how I should think? Who are you to tell me what this should mean? My meaning is my meaning, and how I see the world may at times be at odds with how others think it should be seen, or what it should mean. It took some time getting here, and I am thoroughly convinced that there is no such thing as a static and objective meaning, one that is the same for all people at all times.
Can there be a better example of the joys of qualitative research?