SPARK: Non-Conceptual Seeing
March 8, 2022
Happy Birthday to my dear friend Anne!
It's amusing and serendipitous how ideas and completely independent conversations cross over and circle back on one another. I recently was texting with a friend about a walk I took with a different friend away back in the '90s. It had just rained. We were walking along our dirt road, and all the wee pebbles were so shiny and their varying colours so intense. The soil was incredibly beautiful. I commented on it. My friend looked down and was astonished. It was something she said she would never have noticed without my drawing attention to it. I had a sort of epiphany; how really very different the world's physicality is to us all. It was difficult to imagine what she saw if she didn't see what I did... [Embarrassingly, the most obvious story of the world, no?]
Yesterday, I was listening to a podcast from Ten Percent Happier with American journalist Dan Harris. Dan was interviewing Jeff Warren, one of my favourite Canadian authors and meditation teachers. Dan directed the conversation to the practise of mindful seeing and how we can move through our days seeing but not seeing. Or half seeing, as Jeff called it, and he shared about his "deliberate practice of truly seeing." They didn't mean thinking consciously about what you're looking at, but letting what you're looking at just be what it is, the result of which is to "erode its label." To paraphrase, this is when interest and beauty of what you're seeing builds, and you can acknowledge its being. Dan called it "non-conceptual seeing."
I realised that this is what happened on that walk along the forest road; I was practising nonconceptual seeing. And I realise that it's something I do quite often. It has a magical outcome, sparking curiosity and thought about colour, spatial relationships, size ratios, volume, negative/positive space, line, pattern... Give it a try and let me know what you find.
I've included the link to the podcast above. The discussion about non-conceptual seeing begins at 27:03. The image to the right is a picture I took in 2016 of a road surface in Charleston, SC; so beautiful ... but hard as hell to walk on.
SPARK: The "Why"
February 25, 2022
It's important to me to acknowledge that which sparks joy, rapture, amusement, respect, and intrigue in my life. This page is my way of showing my gratitude about a myriad of people and things (art related or otherwise) and sharing them with you. I hope what inspires me inspires you too. Come back often... This page will build and build.
The image you see to the right is a perfect example of what this page is for. This is a photo of a work in progress. The other day, I walked by my easel and the late afternoon February sun was splashing stunning light on its glossy surface. The painting disappeared completely as the sunlight transformed it. How glorious is that!? Let's just all slow down and notice the light, the wet pebbles in the road after a rain, the fold in a dog's ear... Let's all enjoy being human. Email me about what you find; I'd love to hear from you.