I am interested in gaze-shifting lately...looking for the alternate view. I remember reading a book by Tom Brown Jr. when I was rather young, a certain passage has always stuck with me. I can't quote it, but the gist was about authentic "seeing". In our "label" frenzied world we are fascinated with words, as if words hold a certain power and once something is labeled, it is known. We label things (car, door, pencil, rock, shell, tree, leaf, flower, sand, etc.) and the moment we have labeled it, we stop "seeing" it. We don't look deeply. We label this person, place, thing, feeling or experience with a name or concept and consider it seen and tidily place it in it's appropriate cognitive category. In so doing, we miss the beauty, the mystery, the awe. Tom Brown Jr. was talking about this in terms of sand, how a handful of sand holds a rainbow of color, a history of unimagined proportions, unique and unbelievably beautiful. Few of us stop to consider "sand". We have a name for it, so it is understood, forgotten and unseen. The challenge is to drop the name and see everything as new. Then the world rolls in ecstasy before us, spilling unspeakable beauty, one grain of sand at a time.
Sometimes, I like to challenge myself to look for color or shape, instead of things, when I am out with camera in hand. Here is a taste from my recent Oregon trip:
redorangeyellowgreen (Aaahhhhh! I don't think I ever feasted with such abandon on the verdent hue as I did this past weekend)turquoise