Something that has really changed for me is the way I see. I noticed first in nature, but then also just walking about, or at home and when I am with people. I am able to “see” so much more. I realise of course that it has always been there, but now I am able to be conscious of it and I am absolutely taken by the beauty around me.
Nothing is like the sky and the trees. No matter the season or the weather, it always new, different, vivid and of breathtaking beauty. I look at the sky first thing in the morning, often before sunrise. I watch the sky when I leave the house or before I return home. Right now it’s raining and the chestnut tree in front of my window is starting to change colour, it’s leaves and branches dancing in the wind, heavy and saturated with humidity. And I watch the sky when it is getting dark, either with clouds, a storm or at nightfall. It is always an ever changing spectacle of elements transforming into each other.
But I also see so much I never cared for in particular and I see the beauty in the ordinary. I am enjoying the colours, the texture and shape of the random forms that are coming my way. And I have noticed how the eye avoids seeing anything that it finds disturbing or repugnant. But I realise it has been fear again that makes the distinction. What I consider to be ugly and disagreeable, is just the other side of the spectrum and it is surprising to find beauty even in the repulsive.
If I really see something it becomes a part of me and in truth it determines who I am. If I just look at the familiar, I don’t see any more. It is only looking and seeing the unfamiliar that allows me to grow and unfold. And I noticed that the visible and invisible are really the same thing.
There is a book written by Aldous Huxley about sight. I must look for it, because he wrote a fantastic account about the art of seeing, which is also the title of the book. and it is about “weaning” the eye from seeing the familiar and delving into the unfamiliar.
The way we see is different from what we perceive. To understand sight is the key to the illusion.
“The Doors of Perception,” 1954
Ah, yes Doreen thank you. “Doors of perception” is an account of Huxley’s experiences taking mescaline.
The “Art of Seeing” is based on the method of Dr. Bates, an alternative therapy to improve eyesight. Very interesting approach.
An interesting exercise in a new way of seeing, or expanding that which we see, is drawing (or painting) the space between objects.