Sunday, April 11, 2010

Do you see what I see?

"Nature will bear the closest inspection.
She invites us to lay our eye level
with her smallest leaf,
and take an insect view of its plain."
Henry David Thoreau


Reading is one of my favorite things to do. There is nothing like being alone on a Saturday afternoon with time stretching in front of you and a good book that takes you away to place where you have no worries or concerns. Unless, that is, you are reading a scary who dunnit. Then being alone and hearing creaking noises in the hall can be kind of unnerving. But mostly, reading is an enjoyable past time.

That said, I don't usually read much during the day. I'm in the habit of climbing into bed, burrowing under the covers, making a spot for my Sweetie to lay his head, then reading a few pages while I scratch his head. It doesn't take long before my eyelids
grow heavy, or the Girl Cat decides it's her time for a little extra loving and plops herself down right in front of the book. Basically, I only read a few pages a night; especially if I'm reading a non-fiction book. Since my comprehension has never been all that great, it takes more than one session to grasp what the author is saying.

For the past few weeks I've been trudging through Anam Cara by John O'Donohue. It's slow going mostly because it is a little heavy for my night time reading. It was highly praised by two of my favorite people so I'm sticking with it. I'm only on page 63 (of 231) and already I've dog-eared several pages to go back and re-read.

Last night I got to the part called: The Senses as Thresholds of the Soul. "Your senses link you intimately with the divine within you and around you," says O'Donohue. The first sense he addresses is the sight. It is through the eyes that we can "take in the mystery of everything outside of us and bring it inside us." However our "world is so familiar that we do not see it anymore."

I decided I would pay attention to the world around me today. I wanted to walk through my day as if I was looking through the macro lens of my camera. Like some of Johnny's photos, I don't want to see just a flower, but its amazingly beautiful center. The thing is I've plopped
myself in front of this computer and I'm having trouble seeing beyond where I sit.

However, if I look closer, I might begin to see more than modern Apple technology of which I have barely scratched the "user-friendly" surface. I can forget about Google and Yahoo and Wikipedia and focus on the blogs that have come to be a special part of my day. In each of the blogs that I follow there is wisdom, truth, beauty, and love. Sometimes
there's pain, and sometimes there is laughing out loud - both shared from the authors' hearts.

I don't think I could pick one favorite over another. But there is one blog that I go to first every day. 365,000 words. It's an interesting concept "if a picture is worth 1000 words, just think what a whole year could bring..... For me, it is more than a calendar. It's like getting the prize from the Cracker Jack's box. I know there is going to be a picture to take my breath away, but I'm never sure what it is going to be. I'm always surprised. And I'm always wowed.

Pam Jones, like Terri St. Cloud, is what I consider an enigma. Why anyone would get up before the dawn breaks is beyond me! These ladies not only rise, they shine! They start the day, that to me still includes 3 or more hours of sleep, by lacing up their walking shoes and welcoming the sun as it come up. Obviously they do more than just walk because when they get back to their computers they are fired up and ready to post pictures and thoughts for the day.

O'Donohue writes, "it is a startling truth that how you see and what you see determine how and who you will be," and asks the question, what way do you behold the world? I'm reminded that my daughter, Weneki, includes a list of things that moved her during the year when she sends out Christmas cards. If you were to combine those lists you'd have a pretty good idea of who she is without ever actually meeting her. I doubt very seriously if I'm going to start getting up while it's still dark outside, but I am going to start paying attention to what I see, what moves me.

For today, I've got to say my new bedspread is such a delicious shade of sea blue green that it makes me smile every time I see it.

What about you? What way do you behold the world?

Wishing for you a clear vision to see a multitude of things that move you,
Merry ME

4 comments:

Pamela Jones said...

Mary,

I do believe that Mr. O'Donohue has a point about senses and the divine. What else could haul our elderly carcasses out of bed so early in the morning? LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your flower photos -- love the zooming, and the whole picture, too!
Enigmatically yours...

AkasaWolfSong said...

If it is any consolation Mary, I am not an early morning walker either. In large part because of my disability but I do awaken early most days...this morning was 5:30...and I usually begin it by greeting in prayer Father Sky and Mother Earth. That time of half light that lends itself to the quietness of the day before it is in full swing and gets so cacophonous that I cannot truly 'hear.'

Instead I hear the Earth Choir singing in the day...this morning it was my resident Cardinal singing in the morning sky...if you go to my page and scroll all the way to the bottom and listen to the Morning Sunrise Prayer...that is how I choose to see the day.

I loved your photos...is that a Peace Lily? I love looking at the centers of all flowers and the insects that are drawn to them.

Have a beautiful day Dear Sister!

swallowtail said...

Every morning I am awakened by an ever-optimistic Labrador. He has gotten up at 5:30...regardless of time-changes, since we brought him home 6 mos. ago. I never get up, regardless of intention! I do sit up ;-) and sip my coffee and write.

One of these days I will take my walk then, and take him with me, so that his optimism will rub off on me.

Purchasing my current camera brought "my eye" back to life(Life!). It is a mystical and spiritual experience to focus into the world around me. Years ago as a college student, I entered the world of photography and the dark room. Oh heaven and bliss! Digital is definitely different, but does offer some incredible and amazing experiences.

I love your thoughtful words. Thank you.

swallowtail said...

Oh, Post Script: I love this book, and intend to purchase a copy. It is one to savor, and re-savor!