To the extent that each person can feel like a naturalist, the old excitement of the untrammeled world will be regained. I offer this as a formula of re-enchantment to invigorate poetry and myth: mysterious and little know organisms live within walking distance of where you sit.
Splendor awaits in minute proportions. -
E.O. Wilson

Sunday, July 25, 2010

On Seeing

"To see a wren in a bush, call it "wren," and go on walking is to have (self-importantly) seen nothing. To see a bird and stop, watch, feel, forget yourself for amoment, be in the bushy shadows, maybe then feel "wren" - that is to have joined in a larger moment with the world. " - Gary Snyder,Language Goes Two Ways, 1995

We are all on a journey together...
To the center of the universe...
Look deep
Into yourself, into another. 
It is to a center which is everywhere
That is the holy journey...
First you need only look:
Notice and honor the radiance of
Everything about you...
Play in this universe.  Tend
All these shining things around you:
The smallest plant, the creatures and
Objects in your care.
Be gentle and nurture.  Listen...
As we experience and accept
All that we really are...
We grow in care.
We begin to embrace others
As ourselves, and learn to live 
As one among many...
                               Anne Hillman 


Today in our circles, we tried to practice a different kind of seeing that we usually do.  We asked ourselves what we notice when we look at an object (fortunately our sacred apple tree is shedding some apples; so we had an object to hand!).  People listed shape, size, color, movement, and pattern.  Today in our circles we focused on shape, color and movement, and each person chose from the following activities: 
Seeing Shapes.  Look at big and small things and see if you can recognize different shapes.  Maybe you will want to use your watercolors to paint the shapes you see or maybe you will want to make a list of the things in your circle that suggest different shapes?  

Seeing Colors:   What colors do you see?  Are all the plants the same color of green?  Using the set of paint chip colors in your folder ( I definitely recommend this activity for children and adults.  Go to a paint store and pick out a few green and brown paint sample cards.  Cut the colors apart with no white borders. )  see if you can match any of the colors to things you find in your circle.  This is harder than it seems.  Look at both sides of things, look on the ground, on trees and on bushes.   see if you can match any of the colors to things you find in your circle.  This is harder than it seems.  Look at both sides of things, look on the ground, on trees and bushes.   Did you notice yourself seeing colors in a new way?  What did you learn?

Seeing what is hidden:  In or near your circle is there a log or stone or a pile of deep leaves that you can carefully lift?  Take some deep breaths and make your mind and heart very still.  Look and look and look.  Is anything moving?  What do you see?  Write your observations down in your journal or, if you wish, make a little drawings to help you remember.  Carefully replace the long or stone or leaves just as you found them.  Are you surprised by what you found? 

Seeing from a different perspective:  How would your circle look to a bird flying over?  To a deer walking through it?  To an ant on the ground?  Try lying on your belly.  What does you cricle look like from there?  Turn over on your back.  How do things look now?  

Close your eyes and imagine your circle.  What colors can you remember from today?  What sorts of shapes were there?  Was there sunlight?  Where was it dark?  How did you feel in your circle or place?  Were you happy, curious, a little afraid, bored, uncomfortable, relaxed?  What else did you notice about yourself today.  What colors best describe your inner landscape today?  Look inward.  What do you "see"?  Where is there light?  Dark?  Maybe you will want to journal or paint this interior landscape this week.  Maybe you will want to practice looking inward with the same kind of attention that you practiced observing the outer ecology of your circle.  Seeing inward is sometimes called "insight".  What would it take to "see" more in your daily life?  What do you need to make it happen?  Intention?  Time to slow down and stop?  Privacy?  What might you gain?

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
                                                                                                                           Marcel Proust
 (To think more about "seeing" and develop the spiritual dimensions of your experiences in your circle this week, please take a look at "On Seeing" by clicking the tab  For Further Reflection to your right.)

No comments:

Post a Comment