Posts Tagged ‘looking’

On Seeing

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Nobody sees a flower, really, it is so small. We haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. –Georgia O’keeffe

I saw a man on a street corner staring up with such intent he seemed to be studying for an important exam. I think he was.

In his hand was a camera, a Canon EOS, and the objects of his analysis were the powerlines overhead. Or he was noting the angles and shadows of the rooftops on the buildings nearby. Or perhaps it was the textures of the gray clouds left by our last small storm that fascinated. If his exam was an advanced one, he was considering all three.

The man was in the midst of what I’ve come to call the seeing – the act of poring over something, point by point, detail by detail, trying to figure out what is there. What is really there, not the small and disconnected bits we register in our day-to-day and then claim – foolishly – we’ve actually seen something.

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