I’ve been reading an article in the recent Poets & Writers about seeing, and realizing – not for the first time – that I rarely see what I’m looking at. Autopilot is my default and I’ve been relying heavily on that particular setting for the past, oh I don’t know, ten years. And while that autopilot has gotten me through rough days after rough nights of hovering over sick children, worrying about futuremoneyjobdeadlinesenvironment, or staying up too late to watch movies everyone else in the world has already seen, I think it may be time to wake up more often.
I wrote about this same stuff for my own graduate lecture which I delivered, hmm, ten years ago. There’s that belief that we are on this earth to learn a specific lesson – maybe this one is my own assignment?
It’s not only tiredness that makes me revert to short-cut observation. It’s busyness. Boredom. Suspicion of imminent failure. It’s easier, isn’t it, to accept defeat when you never really tried in the first place.
Ugh. Don’t make me write about this. I’m hungry, and pretty soon a woman whose husband died not long ago will be here for tea.
I used to lie on my back in the huge front yard of the old house and look up. For a long time. I’d notice things, you know, floating by me. And then I’d flip over and look into the grass. Again, for a long time. And I didn’t do it for the sake of a blog post. I did it because I was eleven and that’s what you do when you’re eleven.
Same thing with the ocean. I could float in the ocean until I puckered and never grow tired of the tiny lives swimming by my chin.
Not that I want to be eleven again (I appreciate too much the freedom to eat ice cream for dinner), but I’d like some of that wish to watch small things scuttle across the floor of the world.
Resolution: see. Everything. Or at least much as I can fit in my eyes.
“Seeing is not naming the thing that one sees.” ~Robert Irwin