Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Evolution of Looking at the World

In an interview with French poet; Christian Bobin, he is asked the question; "Peut-on apprendre a regarder?/Can one learn to look?" Of course, there is some additional translation work to consider here, as in French, the one word "regarder" conveys layers of nuances, best translated by more than one word in English; "to see, to watch, to look, to gaze". This made me stop and think about how the ways in which we see evolve throughout life. The regard for looking does not need to be reserved for the realm of poets or artists. 

Bobin begins his story in the cradle, the story of watching and of resistance, because it is said they are one and the same. The play of light and shadows on the ceiling above, of mama moving away from the child, and baby finding consolation in the scene up above, are the beginning. Can you remember when seeing was resisting? Can you return to both in reverence and awe, finding joy again?

In each of us, there are times when all is wonder and light. Then there are the days of being locked in, physically, or soulfully, which may last for years.  We forget to look at what is right there in front of us; out of the car window or into the eyes of a child, a love, the mirror. Or the mirror is all that we see. The question is not whether one can learn to look, but how soon you are willing to try again. You were born knowing how to do that one thing. 

Each moment is a chance to pause and marvel, as you gaze upon what is. The snow out of your window is not the blue sky of Miami. The changing foliage of the autumn is not the fresh buds of spring. The sloppy rot of rain and mud from too much of a good thing is not the water of the ocean, lapping at your toes in the sun. They are what is today, and the beauty in them is yours to behold; the blue sparkles in the snow, the incredible colors appearing magically out of a once-uniform green, the rain makes tiny rivers down the gutters, flowing and gurgling as it catches the light.

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