THE ART OF SEEING

Harvey Lloyd © 2003

This book is dedicated to one I loved dearly. S.P saw better than I did all the beauty in the world. She is sorely missed.

INTRODUCTION

People think that they see, but they don’t.

—HENRY MOORE

One sunny day in June, 2003, I go to the New York Botanic Garden to photograph roses at the height of their bloom.. My challenge is to see the roses in a fresh way, a new way, different from the thousands of images of these lovely flowers that I had seen. I wear my digital camera

with a macro or closeup lens attached. I walk through the Rockefeller Rose Garden in a trance, relying on my forty years of photography to do the work. No- mind, a Zen concept and intuitive, reflex action informs my camera. I am very, very close to these blossoms. A hidden world, the spirit and soul of the roses appeared. It is difficult to photograph at extreme close range. The slightest movement of the flower caused by wind, hand shake, or pressing the shutter button too hard, too soon or too late ruins the image. I “dance” around the rose garden, hypnotized and full of joy, out of my workaday mind. Back at my studio, after downloading the images to my computer and reviewing them in Adobe Photoshop, I am happily surprised at the results. I stretched the envelope and was granted entry to a hidden world. I spend the entire week working with the images, revealing their inner beauty, enhancing them, transforming them into images which speak to me of startling designs and hidden spiritual essences. The roses take on a new life for me, one of asymmetric beauty and constant revelations—epiphanies.

Do you have to work for forty years as I did to learn to see beyond the apparent reality of the world? No, you only have to work at it much of the time, gradually peeling murky blinders of conformity and cliche from your eyes. Seeing is taken for granted. We all have eyes. You may believe that you see what I see. That is a false assumption. Everyone sees differently. You see what you learn or have learned to see. Your brain processes visual information from your eye and shows you, based on your conditioning, what you will see. The liberated artist’s eye sees what “isn’t there.” That sounds odd. "How can you see what isn’t there?" Picasso once said, “If only I could tear out my brain and use only my eyes.” He knew and he saw and he wished to see more. The physiology of vision is still an enigma to many scientific researchers. The largest portion of your brain is devoted to seeing. How can you learn to see the wonders of this world? You don’t have to be an artist

to develop this skill. You can find your way back to the innocence of early childhood, when you saw the magic of creation less edited, less conditioned by your elders, your peers and your environment. Wordsworth, in his poem, “Intimations of Immortality... wrote:

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream, The earth, and every common sight, To me did seem Appareled in celestial light, The glory and the freshness of a dream. It is not now as it hath been of your; Turn wheresoe'er I may, By night or day, The things which I have see I now can see not more.

Wordsworth, of course, was bemoaning what he felt was loss of his ability to see with the pure innocence of childhood. As a poet, he saw with keen vision the beauty of his own world and revealed it in many poems. Still, he felt that as he grew older, something was lacking which impelled him to write Intimations . It is a long and very beautiful spiritual poem, often read during schooling. It speaks to an adult with a deeper meaning, for youth is blessed with boundless optimism and everything seems possible. How to gain back and retain this vision throughout your life is the subject of this book. 'Genuine art, we say, has “vision,” and good poetry and good seeing quite literally go together almost always. Yet before the more literal seeing can liberate itself into that other vision we speak of, a transfiguration is needed: the eye must learn to abandon its long habit of useful serving and take up instead an active delight in its own ends.' — JANE HIRSHFIELD : excerpt from Kingfishers Catching Fire: Seeing with Poetry's Eyes

DO YOU “SEE” ANYTHING?

I beg your indulgence. Your eye does not see anymore than your computer thinks. Your eye is a marvelous tool for recording and transmitting photons of light to your brain in the form of electrical signals. Beginning at the retina, a series of computer like programs analyze, censor, delete and send certain amounts of information to various parts of the brain. This is not widely understood. Most of us were raised and taught that we see with our eyes.. Recent studies of how the eye and brain work together bring to light the uncanny fact that our it is our brains, not our eyes, which “see” and control our vision.. The Art of Seeing will reveal how early conditioning and genetic inheritance determines how and what we see. We will come to understand that we can learn to truly see the world in all of its miraculous beauty only after hard work and deep insights. We will observe the processes of seeing and creating our world

we lose the greatest gift conferred on sapient beings. I celebrate the art of true vision. Let there be light. How that process works is a visit to a strange new land. Light and its bizarre behavior is one of the great mysteries that still baffle physicists and mathematicians. We will examine the strange phenomenon of many artist's works that do not resemble the way we see the world. It has been said that light is the face of God and/or the mind of God. It cannot escape the “event horizon” of a black hole. no life can exist. To truly see is to enhance one's life and make visible the hidden universe of wonders which surround us. an animal. it can be a particle (photon) or a wave. as you approach the speed of light. we are rendered dumb and speechless.” When you look through the eyepiece of a camera.” According to Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Light behaves in strange ways. LIGHTWORKS Light is the source of all vision.vision. The Old Testament Bible begins (Genesis: 1) with “And God said. (Star Trek fans know that “crossing a galaxy or galaxies is negotiable in six months in warp 9.999. We must begin with training the eye to see “what isn't there. time slows down. You tend to focus on the main subject. Without the light of the mind. It is the key to becoming one in heart and spirit with the Gaena. light is ageless. as has been written by scientists such as Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. Light. You often do not . such as a great tree or a sculptural rock. or a significant part of a landscape.”) Without light. be it a person. you may not be aware that you are using your “zoom” eye to see. And. Imagine! A ray of light from a galaxy billions of light years away is no older than when it “left” the star filled source! That light is an enigma even to current to science may surprise you. It can be warped by gravity. for at the speed of light time stops. Light gives vision. holy light makes vision possible. Without the ability to see the light with child-like innocence. the spirit of the earth.

A photographer learns to scan the entire frame in an instant to create an image. Through applying this truth on a daily basis. coined the phrase. “The decisive moment. Due to the character of its living materials. His talented. To create is to live. one that takes us by surprise. In the preface to his elegiac picture book The Art of Ikebana . When the Japanese arrange flowers. Hiroshi Teshigahara is a renowned Japanese film director and headmaster of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana. ikebana will become more and more interesting to us. It was said that the outcome of the battle could be predicted by the success of his floral arrangement. The legendary photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson. We see the everyday beauty of flowers transformed and our eyes are refreshed. thus transforming them into more vital places. as we more fully comprehend this relationship between creativity and our daily lives. It takes practice.” meaning the moment when the subject and its significance come together for a split second. he writes: Ikebana can play a tremendous role in modern society. It has something beautiful to offer the human spirit. To do this we must learn to see from both sides of our eye without moving our eyeball. . The great French art deco poster artist Cassandre said that a poster must be a visual scandal in order to attract the attention of viewers going on their daily rounds numb to everything but what is directly in front of them. a way that can enchant or intrigue us with its tension and beauty. Bresson was able to do this in a fraction of a second. It wrenches our mind's eye out of its complacent socket of sedentary seeing. they often do so in an asymmetrical way.notice what appears in most of the image seen in the viewfinder. a noble samurai would make an ikebana before going into battle. practiced eye recognized those fleeting moments.. You will see this in the Japanese art of Ikebana or floral arrangements.. and makes us aware that vision is not just what we see. ikebana has the power to change and add resonance to our increasingly sterile modern spaces. We may study examples of traditional beauty such as flowers rearranged in a unusual way. Ikebana combines visual surprise with its appearance of seemingly teetering on a precipice of abstract arrangement. mundane activities can be imbued with new meaning. The presence of an exquisite asymmetrical composition of ikebana renews and refreshes our vision. It is what we are capable of uncovering in the seemingly commonplace everyday environment. He made compositions in which all of the elements of the image related to each other in a striking or dynamic way. In the feudal days of Samurai warriors in Japan. These arrangements often appear to teeter on the edge of falling apart.Creation is the act of discovering something new. The loveliness of the flowers is displayed in exquisite handmade stoneware or ceramic vases.

1798) . Renoir said that he went to the flower market early in the morning and bought the most beautiful flowers. Back at the studio. The German pre-romantic poet Novalis said.but is not the universe within ourselves? The depths of our spirit are unknown to us . Eternity with its worlds .when this gloom is past.is in ourselves or nowhere. for our spirit has been deprived. Finally content. from 'Miscellaneous Observations'.” .We dream of traveling through the universe . We will experience greater enjoyment than ever.THE BACK OF THINGS Monet is said to have asked Renoir how he arranged his flowers in order to paint them.. The external world is the world of shadows . But how entirely different it will seem to us . shapeless." (Novalis.the mysterious way leads inwards. and the body of shadows has moved away.. lonely.it throws its shadow into the realm of light. he would spend the morning arranging them.the past and future . At present this realm certainly seems to us so dark inside. he would walk behind the arrangement and paint that view. he told Monet. Learning to see comes from taking one's self by surprise and absorbing the unfamiliar until the veil of mystery dissolves. “Chaos in a work of art should shimmer through the veil of order.

glory in the earth glows and sheds its radiance over my life. We learn to love ourselves which brings about love of others. acquaintances. a process remarkably similar to what the artist does. glory in the light. We now view it as an active process in which the brain.but these new facts have only come to light in the past twentyfive years. I do not speak of seeing only what is beautiful. as a flower unfolds in the springtime. Without the dark side. . friends. by comparing the selected information to its stored record. How can we see through the veil of order which imprisons us like caterpillars in a cocoon from which we will never emerge as shining butterflies? The search for beauty is the truest meaning of life.. we cannot love in the highest meaning of the word. It is well. the light with which we learn to view the world. "That really has duendé There is great beauty in the human countenance. The poet Lorca spoke of duendé . Gradually. holy light which illuminates a dark world with our imaginings and our dreams. Inner light. It is only with the more recent discoveries about the visual brain that our concept of vision as a process has changed.. It is a process that will never end. hilarious or scandalous comment and suddenly see him or her again. The art of seeing relies heavily on the light which comes from our minds. select and. discards. He tells of a gypsy woman hearing a cello sonata by Bach being played and exclaiming. the beautiful might become too commonplace. Inner Vision: An Exploration of Art and the Brain I endeavor to see more each day. relatives.Light is supreme. at times. — SEYMOUR ZEKI. generates the visual image in the brain. Life itself is love and art. Can you see it? Can you see it in the faces of old people graven with the erosion of time and circumstance? We live with people. Without duendé he wrote. the dark side of art. Until we gain the ability to see beauty in the simplest things. in its quest for knowledge about the visual world. the flamenco lacks spiritual depth. to take a loved one by surprise with an outrageous. and rarely see them clear.

a rainbow appears. or early spring are best for seeing the bare branches). They grip the ground as though they liked it. going and coming like ourselves. and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. winter. When I walk (dance) among the trees I see them as anthropomorphic shapes. . I can think of nothing more beautiful than the shapes of noble trees. W. pines. Suddenly. I vote for the life of trees. regal domains. It is sad that our vision is deprived of these great trees. and beautiful. We are like captains on the bridges of ocean liners calling out commands. but taking action demands a true understanding of how we function in our materialistic society.TREE LIFE I am a tree hugger. I take my nickname C. great oaks. patient. transform or otherwise “play” with the trees in Adobe Photoshop to reveal what I believe to be their inner lives. they have little or no control. We do not control this. They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind. Over the sea itself. grand sculpture that makes my heart sing. I photograph them (late fall. Many would agree. I enhance. traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day. benevolent. redwoods. cypress and a hundred others. and for a wise compromise with our needs. but often little concerned with the complex and vast array of machinery below that executes these commands. It is our privileges because we are endowed with an appreciation of “useless” beauty. from the Caucasian Wingnut tree. I grieve for their loss. and through space heaven knows how fast and far! — JOHN MUIR We live on the surface of the earth and on the surface of our own beings. and we see how beautiful it is. Our too often overly greedy society demands that we cut down many old. ancient olives. irreplaceable growths for profit. just as with our own unconscious minds. I think the trees would be pleased at the attention. It may not be the trees whose lives I truly see. Our conscious brains control but little of what we do. wise. We ride these tempestuous seas hurled high into the sky by monster waves in a storm. "I never saw a discontented tree. but my own imagination running riot in their lofty.

Hong Kong still baffles me. The splendor of Moorea and Bora Bora in French Polynesia.” the Okovango Delta in Botswana.NOBLE VISIONS There are visions which never leave my mind because I have not seen them yet. Still. I recall flocks of birds. My Great Wall and Forbidden City images are merely a breezy. although I saw it clearly rather than with depth. the tall grass the and winding streams. compelled me to try to see these things well. remembering Pablo Neruda's great poem. the green and turquoise waters there and in the Seychelles dazzled me. better to have looked harder. I remember the vast main temple at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. elephants and cheetahs. The clarity of the light in Antarctica. I stood transfixed at Macchu Picchu. On safari in the “Last Eden. The Heights of MacchuI Picchu. I saw them without truly penetrating beneath the surface. do not dig deep into the Inca ruin. My images while handsome. and the pristine archipelagos and icebergs which spoke of time before man. Maybe next time. if .

how can it permeate the universe without a beginning? We needn't answer questions of such metaphysical depth to see the light. Consider the visual mystery of a black hole. The very term “see the light” bespeaks a seeing beyond what the eye itself sees. LIGHT'S GENESIS Where in the infinity of space and time does light come from? If indeed it is the mind of God or the manifestation of His splendor. To some. This implies a steady state universe. We can visit beloved places over and over. a universe which emerges at random. waves or sub-atomic particles arise spontaneously. Is a black hole the wormhole(1) to other universes? Quantum physics speaks of fluctuations in the space-time continuum from which vibrations.professional look at these great works of antiquity. to penetrate deep down into the mystery and spiritual life of places and peoples. That is a beginning. There is a need to learn to see and to work in a vertical as well as a horizontal way. we can penetrate to the heart of things. Around our familiar places. over time. A world roaming traveler skims the surface too much. this seems better than the Big Bang theory of .. Can a huge collapsed star of such density and gravity exist from which light itself cannot escape? Stephen Hawking and many other physicists believe this is so.

A singularity produces a paradox of infinite forces if observed or experienced. or observable existence by the process of cosmic censorship.. This is not a statement on a `cause' behind the origin of the Universe. . was there light in the singularity? If not. light. then it must occur). there we enter the realm of Art and Science. Thus. a point of infinite mass. If there was a Big Bang. energy and gravity within which the laws of physics disappear. The uncertainty and unpredictability of the quantum world is manifested in the fact that whatever can happen. in which light waves or photons enter the lens of the pupil. The fact that the Universe exists should not be a surprise in the context of what we know about quantum physics.html) What has this to do with the art of seeing? Seeing is not a mechanical process taking place between the eye and the brain. Where the world ceases to be the scene of our personal hopes and wishes .uoregon. are transported to the visual cortex. We will learn to see by shredding the veil of insubstantial conditioning and possible genetic inheritance which causes us to see what seemingly is there. and voila. where did the light come from? One thing is clear in our framing of questions such as `How did the Universe get started?' is that the Universe was self-creating. nor is it a statement on a lack of purpose or destiny. the light of the visible spectrum. It is a complex process in which photons are converted into electrical impulses which the brain censors. strike the retina. vision emerges. in his writings. Although this is a continuing mystery.the universe exploding and expanding from a singularity.. deciphers and then decides what you and I see. that the actual of the Universe probably derived from a indeterminate sea of potentiality that we call the quantum vacuum." A black hole constructs an event horizon around its singularity. I have not discovered from the above light's origin. is our greatest joy. Stephen Hawking has said. — ALBERT EINSTEIN . "the actual point of creation (of the universe) lies outside the scope of presently known laws of physics. — (excerpt from (zebu. whose properties may always remain beyond our current understanding. . a singularity is prevented from having a physical. does happen (this is often called the principle of totalitarianism.edu/~js/ast123/lectures/lec17. density. You cannot penetrate it to observe the singularity without being destroyed. It is simply a statement that the Universe was emergent. that if a quantum mechanical process is not strictly forbidden.

chaos and beauty that you do not yet see. Look again. The interior is dark and mysterious. a tiny central zone of the eye.? Let us “waste” this energy because not to see is to be blind to the real meaning of life on a beautiful planet. and may imagine that we see everything sharp. a . you may ask. as that which occurs when the eyes fix on one point after another in the visual field. The eye is no window! From the retina.. or are we? More likely our upbringing and our environment have mapped that which is “important” on our brains. or the host of books about artists of every period and see how artists and photographers view and have viewed our world. Since it takes energy to see. Start by educating your eye. in order to bring an entire scene into focus. Here we are being told what to see. As with music. The actual process of seeing is performed by your brain rather than your eye. First glance is only the beginning of the process of truly seeing. the LGN (lateral geniculate nuclesu) where it is sent to the primary visual cortex. You may be a photographer or artist and record what is there or you may be trying to see your world. Why not visit online the virtual realms of museums or museums themselves. Since there is sharpness of vision only at the fovea. We are surrounded by images in our technological. scientists find more information comes back to the LGN from various parts of the brain than go from it to the brain. Is Van Gogh's “Starry Night” his true vision? Did Willem De Kooning see women like the tortured paintings he became famous for? What about Picasso often sticking eyes in his paintings anywhere but where they belong? He said that way people would notice them. The eyeball must constantly move. you must listen to a great rock band. to circumvent or overcome our early conditioning. Are Dubuffet's grotesque paintings of people real. Much of it is the ordinary. How do you see what isn't there? What “isn't there” is the real world of wonder.) We are not conscious of this. and on to other parts of the brain. We do this with a series of quick glances called saccades ( A rapid intermittent eye movement. The myriad photons of light strike the rods and cones which are wired to a complex “computer” in the retina. they were painters. digital world. Where. The riddle of vision may be likened to that of early explorers arriving at the continent of Africa for the first time and circumnavigating part of this vast land mass. Very little is known. why waste this energy in a battle within ourselves to unmask the outside world. the information goes on to a way station. our daily fare. Strangely. Dubuffet studied the works of children and mad people.YOUR EYE IS NO WINDOW Light which enters our eyes through the pupils passes through a number of almost transparent layers to arrive at the retina. Preliminary processing of the visual information takes place here. No matter you say.

Truly seeing comes from allowing the shimmering mantle of light which envelops the world to envelop you like a two way mirrorlike garment which reflects and transmits light at the same time. It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen. I often walked the rock formations at Pebbly Beach now called Weston Beach. It's like seeing what's there. I describe this place more fully in my picture book. knocked breathless by a powerful glance. the ancient Carmelo and sandstone conglomerates.. a nature reserve which juts into the ocean south of Carmel. California. June 2004) . on the outgoing tide early in the morning. your eyes will refresh themselves and begin to see what “isn't there. I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured. or anything else you might fancy. Images play music to my eyes. Annie Dillard discovered a universe at Tinker's Creek. The tilted slabs of many hued rocks on the ocean's edge. POINT LOBOS My work is a kind of music.. It is easy to hear light music the first time. You will learn to interpret the ikebana-like arrangements of the rocks and uncover their distinctive personalities.symphony or a piece of ethnic music a number of times to really hear it. Try it. utterly focused and utterly dreaming. and you will see a rainbow of colors on the rocks. Light comes from within and without. THE SAMURAI WAY: Spiritual Journeys with a Warrior Photographer (Ruder Finn Press. Not in one day or two.I had been my whole life a bell. like viewing a singularity? You are the mirror. of shapes which mirror chimeras and gargoyles. Walk these rocks slowly. One day I was walking along Tinker Creek thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it. but in many. but be patient.” The same may be done nearer home. grass that was wholly fire. A walk in a botanical garden. I stood on the grass with the lights in it. each cell buzzing with flame. a forest or around a lake leads to new visions. How do you or I decode this “music of the spheres?” Come with me to Point Lobos. hide a world of abstract art. and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck . Is that an impossibility.

Why.. see a great deal that is invisible to many others. each of which maps the whole visual field. while walking past a field of wild flowers early in the morning. whether with brush or camera. Artists. a story whose next stages are just coming into view.beginning . A Pilgrim at Tinker's Creek WHAT DO YOU SEE? Vision is a process that produces from images of the external world a description that is useful to the viewer and not cluttered with irrelevant information.. the human eye. or do we humans have the ability to see beyond the constructs of early childhood and later conditioning. but where's the harm. Do we want to? It may be forbidden fruit. the magical tool which worships the light. of course. stop to notice a bee supping on a dew drenched golden cup? Why observe the unusual harmony of colors on sea drenched rocks on a storm swept coast? Why study cloud castles? Do we construct worlds of visual processing all of us alike.the striate cortex is just the first of over a dozen separate visual areas.—ANNIE DILLARD .. All that is needed is the will to use the most powerful tool in our bodies. to penetrate the fog and miasma of lazy looking and wasted vision. The knowledge we have now is really only the beginning of an effort to understand the physiological basis of perception. Each of us has the power to see in ways that few human beings have learned to see. British neurologist Irrelevant to who? Your doting brain busily keeps you from seeing all of the “irrelevant” information that makes the world a place of beauty and wonder.. —DAVID MARR.

casting cool shadows for us to linger under. — DAVID HUBEL . Brain. altogether delightful.with the striate cortex... They are indeed lovely.” .. “The mind of man is capable of anything— because everything is in it.The ascending connections presumably take the visual information from one region to the next for visual processing. We all live near or in the midst of trees. arching into the sky. Eye. our intuitive mind. our problem is to find out how the information is processed. For each of these areas. each area feeds into two or more areas higher in the hierarchy.. precariously hung branches of huge trees that stretch over us takes sudden awakening of our ancient nomind..We are far from understanding the perception of objects. turning.. Joseph Conrad wrote. and Vision The mystery of how vision works compels us to discover what we may truly learn to see. To see the beauty and marvelous symmetry and asymmetry disguised or hidden in the twisting. Shall we not look deeper and study their marvelous construction? The art of nature is the source of all art. all the past as well as all the future.

It's a bit like finding a family scrapbook containing snapshots that capture the lives of family members from infancy through adolescence to adulthood. The Hubble . the galaxies. are beginning to harvest new clues to the origin and evolution of the universe's largest building blocks.ORIGINS Two of NASA's Great Observatories. bolstered by the largest ground-based telescopes around the world.

" says Mauro Giavalisco. grows cold. the heat of life in the handful of dust. as artists see into the future. the glow in the heart that with every year grows dim. We can illuminate our world as seers. Md. — PABLO PICASSO . we are the stuff the stars are made of.Space Telescope has joined forces with the Chandra X-ray Observatory to survey a relatively broad swath of sky encompassing tens of thousands of galaxies stretching far back in time. head of the Hubble Space Telescope portion of the survey. We have the unlimited potential to see what no one else has seen. too soon. We can as well open new windows in our brains to view the countless wonders of our own planet. Painting is a blind man's profession. the eminent British mathematician. The universe within each of our brains contains more possible connections than the number of stars in all of the galaxies combined. That's a miracle. "This is the first time that the cosmic tale of how galaxies build themselves has been traced reliably to such early times in the universe's life. I remember my youth and the feeling that will never come back any more—the feeling that I could last for ever. We become visionaries. blobs of protoplasm which thinks. astronomers are studying galaxy formation and evolution over a wide range of distances and ages. a gift from the gods. to acknowledge that there is an end to life and growth. the earth. We will increase our vision as we enlarge our cosmic curiosity which views all creation with a wondering. wandering eye. That means the processes in the brain are virtually infinite and cannot ever be completely understood because of the workings of quantum indeterminacy. We will abide so long as we increase our vision in ever expanding circles. from the heart of a flower to tempestuous seas that circle our planet. We are more than crawlers on this earth. — JOSEPH CONRAD It is too soon to quit. The astonishing Hubble telescope opens a new window on our universe. and all men. Called the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS). prophets. to love. to vain effort—to death. We invented the gods. grows small. the triumphant conviction of strength. what he tells himself about what he has seen. becomes as though we were gods on a high peak. wrote in his book Shadows of the Mind. and while thinking see. From a drop of dew on a blade of grass to vast ranges of glacier clad mountains. we can discover and see. Just as the Hubble telescope reveals the more of the cosmic tale of billions of galaxies in interstellar space. and research astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. He paints not what he sees. to soon—before life itself. to perils. and expires—and expires. like ripples in a cosmic sea. We can see. that the human brain functions at the quantum level. but what he feels. Roger Penrose. shamans and magicians see in their myths and necromancy. so our probing minds can discover and see the infinite variety of our whirling planet. outlast the sea. Olympus. the deceitful feeling that lures us on to joys.

while hovering in a helicopter over a deeply crevassed glacier in the Darwin Mountains hard by the Beagle Channel in Patagonia. Ripeness is all. We are too often like those albatross. at whatever the cost.. Sight and Sensibility. filled with detritus of boring work.. ashore in the Galapagos Islands.. They did not see me. the Psychology of Perception . She perceives what is yet unseen while looking into the world. I felt a chill of fear. I saw them. shackled by the bonds of daily routine.She sees that which is possible embedded in what is real bridging between seen and unseen realms.. — LAURA SEWALL .. to take the risk of leaping into true vision.of what am I doing here ? . used only to seeing what is there in our circumscribed world. able. clicking their yellow bills and dancing an ancient mating dance. as in Shakespeare's words from King Lear: “We must endure our coming hither as our going hence. I walked among waved albatross courting. here on this earth willy nilly. Once. Another time. with memory and imagination.” At no age is the human mind limited.LOOK WITHOUT FEAR We are here to learn. but perhaps unwilling.. mind-set and fear. the mind lies fallow. It is only when.

His early training had been as a topographic draftsman.TURNER’S LIGHT J. Perhaps the most famous English Romantic landscape artist.He was a unique artist. Turner studied the science of light and color. Venice was the inspiration of some of Turner's finest work. depicts the ravening energy of light which. he went to the Royal Academy School of art when he was only 15 years old. he developed a painting technique all his own. transmutes all into glory and beauty. .M. The artist using his or her skill. Instead of merely recording factually what he saw. a world of rainbows and light. he became known as 'the painter of light. Wherever he visited he studied the effects of sea and sky in every kind of weather.' A Londoner born and bred. Such vision emerges from deep immersion into intuitive or Zen no-mind. We can learn to see this way by discarding our preconceptions and seeing as we fantasize. Turner (1755-1851 saw and painted light. With the years..W. These quotations from web pages on Turner (1775-1851) describe an artist painting during a period when painting generally dealt with landscapes in a traditional manner.. however.”to the painters of his day. like an alchemist's stone. both in freeing himself from all past artist traditions and art movements. Turner saw what “wasn't there. Turner translated scenes into a light-filled expression of his own romantic feelings. He was to open the way for a visionary anticipation of modern painting. the flamboyant and miraculous play of light on water and sky.

high end cameras that digitally record images of scenes before me. these signals emanate from our eyes and condition what we see.' Most importantly to our dissertation. the collapse of the wave function.e. Robert Grosseteste (England). We will see. Our brains send messages to the LGN. however there is a great truth hidden here. — JOSEPH CONRAD . (Experiments in quantum physics hint or show that the observer affects the observed. Whether light or energy. You might say that light from your eyes creates your vision and that you can change that light by learning to truly see.) We see what our brain instructs us to see. the way station between the retina and the visual cortex.But the artist appeals to that part of our being which is not dependent on wisdom. Does the light from my eyes influence what my cameras record? A scientist or physiologist might laugh at this idea. He speaks to our capacity for delight and wonder. he held the view.and therefore. more permanently enduring. Magister scholarum of the University of Oxford was a proponent of the view that theory should be compared with observation. Current optical theory would disagree with this assertion. i. I work with sophisticated visual tools. The rainbow was conjectured to be a consequence of reflection and refraction of sunlight by layers in a 'watery cloud. The act of observing a wave/particle at the quantum level raises the probability of that wave being there. to that in us which is a gift and not an acquisition -. and pain. . to the sense of mystery surrounding our lives: To our sense of pity and beauty. shared by the earlier Greeks. that vision involves emanations from the eye to the object perceived.. The Nigger of the Narcissus VISION EMANATES During the 13 th century. Grosseteste considered that the properties of light have particular significance in natural philosophy.

A black hole is surrounded by the “event horizon” which is the limit beyond which even light cannot escape the ravening gravity of the hole. Out of indifferent animal organs the light produces an organ to correspond to itself. God said. we ourselves are not constrained from violating our selfimposed limits.” If light sees us. Early in life. We have the keys to unlock the box and dwell in radiance.. a dark chamber which receives and emits light What form these light rays take inside our brains is equally dark and obscure.'. “Let Newton be" and all was light. rigidity or laziness can prevent us from viewing and enjoying the works and wonders of all creation.. — ALEXANDER POPE Laws of science should not trap us into complacency about how we see. Our own event horizons are the limits which our brains enforce to make us see what is already there. While light cannot escape from a black hole.'The eye owes its existence to the light. The study of light has revealed mystery atop mystery.had light not “seen” man. and so the eye is formed by the light for the light so that the inner light may meet the outer. “Goethe phrased it this way. Imagine that your brain behaves as a black hole is believed to do in interstellar space. author Arthur Zajonc writes. can we then learn to see the light? The eye/brain alliance is a kind of camera obscura. Newton's theories of light as corpuscles eventually gave way to Einstein and the enigma of light as both waves and particles (photons). our brains map the visual world according to our environments and from instructions received from our parents. — ALBERT EINSTEIN .Nature and nature's laws lay hid in the night. It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. In his book. teachers and peers. we should never have seen the light. Only fear. Catching the Light .

I am filled with dreams still aborning. riding my thunder stallion down the fading light. Michael whirls the aircraft around in a steep turn. one million light years from today. Somnambulist of early evening. Window open. Hozho! . fire the camera and wave Michael the pilot on to Canyonlands. a vibrant breathing chalice of all that she has dreamed during an eternity of fecund and felicitous birthing." Fifteen minutes before sunset. To the right I see my companion Shirlee's favorite southwestern garden. for sheer beauty of the landscape. the endless. her carriage and her dreams. harbinger of tonight's full moon..WORLD ICONS Often I am asked what is my favorite place in the world. slightly dizzy reverie. interwoven like an measureless Mobius strip. hypnosis. We know the same. chalice of the universe. the wistful mote and the wise macrocosm. sentient and universal realm of mother earth. The Cessna airplane bucks and slows. the reddening sky and the dark lake transfix me. All is beautiful. Lake Powell glistens among black rock monoliths and crags. the high plateau regions of the southwest in America are unsurpassed. rapture of the deep or sky. the magic light paints huge rock monoliths a deep shade of red. one thousand feet above the fissured rocks. oxygen deprivation at ten thousand feet. I lean out to photograph Tower Butte framed by Wild Horse Mesa and the pinnacles round the "Crossing of the Fathers. spires and obelisks arrayed like marble hat pins. Michael lowers the landing gear. chasing the buffalo rocks down to cliff's edge. Our aircraft speeds ahead twixt Navajo Point and Navajo Mountain. I am chief of the dusk. The confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers slides below. We are one. Darkness. The sun's bloody tomahawk cleaves the distant ridge. a speck of protoplasm attached to earth's green bosom. During twenty-five years of circling the globe I've encountered many enchanting scenes. Lake Powell's waters grow dark. A red sky bands the horizon. At five hundred feet over Lake Powell. I lean out the open window to photograph the last light of evening on the waters beneath the sky glow that reaches across the heavens. these ‘tapers' burn in the orange light as in a cathedral where the devout light candles. We feel the same. While photographing for my book of aerial photography Sacred Lands of the Southwest . Row on row of silent sentinels striated with browns and yellows. the green meadows of the Needles and Chesler Park. her chariot. Among them. a blackness full of tears. the desert blushing with harmony and music. a bow-tie ribbon twined in the petrified red hair of the Colorado plateau. Time's fleet arrow speeds across a distant sea of stars out beyond the known universe. sets full flaps down and throttles back. I wrote the following: I awake from reverie.

only the silent ghost dance of shadows. The Stagecoach. hogans face east to greet each newborn sun ball trailing a red placenta of clouds. Big Indian . battlements. Long shadows march across the red desert floor. ephemeral. intuitive training born of long years of practice. whirling the Cessna towards the great stone "Hands of the Great Spirit. Dying shadows sink into the parched land. Elmo's fire. our acrobatic pilot of the Cessna 182RG (retractable gear). Time. deep desert time.Thirty minutes before sunset. Images flashed across my vision. my instinctive. I relied on no-mind to see for me. I gesture towards the flaming rock mittens. What I saw was revealed later in the developed film and it was good. The ancient ones doze. or the immolation of heathens by the friars of the Inquisition. whirring dervish suspended in thin air. Loud is the propeller and louder still the hush of millenniums. and in the distance. Shirlee and I ride a winged metal spirit that dances in the shimmering yellow sunlight like a mayfly. holy shadows on the desert. St. I lean out of the open window. tiny red mounds.. The setting sun hangs like a burnt brass cymbal. towers and rock cliffs rear out of the red desert sand.Hozhó.. shadowed by the sun's grim final burning. triggering reflex actions on the camera's shutter button. beauty and balance all wrapped in one concept that dwells at the heart of the Navajo world view" — PAUL G. time that painstakingly sculpts wisdom and stone monuments weds necromancy's dark invocations to shadowy spirits. Mitten crosses mitten. Michael banks and turns. spins the light plane into a dizzying descent around the Totem Pole and Yei Bi Chei rocks in Monument Valley. flying low and close to the stone castles. ruins and monuments. ourselves ghost dancers. castles. ZOLBROD . We veer and turn. a spinning." the red rock mittens of Monument valley. a glorious flight before the sun descends into the underworld. Distant cliffs devour the sun shrouding the desert with scorched tears. Spires. .. One instant more. Michael. no sign of Navajo or sheep. a few minutes of epiphany. we fleet across the picket line of monuments— The King on his Throne. I was in a trance during those aerial encounters. Whirling and tumbling about. I see no life. Bear and the Rabbit. spirits of ghost dancers awakening from the afterlife. Fiery embers glow on the horizon. evidence of crepuscular deities slumbering among the stone sepulchers. The earth tumbles beneath me.the word means something like harmony.

. rather than studying the entire frame. you must look hard. stress. Our eyes lie to us. anger or love all influence what we think we have seen. Vision is as infinite in its many guises as the universe within our brains. if used with passion and vision. We thought our friends or companion were tall in the image. This is the first step. from the macroscopic image of dew on the petals of a rose to the sculptural nobility of a giant tree. or a grand cityscape. all around the perimeter of the image. Study it until you really see it. record what we “should” see. not what is there.ZOOM EYES A camera is a splendid tool to awaken and train the vision. yet the print shows them as tiny figures in an unresolved landscape. The camera is a magical optical device which can. photographs taken on travels at home or abroad. controlled by our brains. Our “zoom” eyes coax us to see only that part of the image which is our subject. To truly see through the camera viewfinder. seeing what the camera sees through whichever lens you use. Use your camera as you would a magnifying glass to examine the exterior that you try to capture. That is why eyewitnesses often disagree to what they see. No hurry! Otherwise your ‘snapshot' will only reveal that you were careless and unseeing. That is why too often. Mood. emotion. are disappointing. The eye is no camera. fear. Our eyes. among majestic ruins. reveal the unseen world.

The night sky filled with constellations is a feast for the eyes. Every one of us can attempt the same. 1760-1849). His modesty about his work bespeaks an intense curiosity and desire to better know (see) his own world of Japan and to never be satisfied.at ninety I shall penetrate the mystery of things. Better to drown in the search for knowledge than to languish on barren shores of discontent and blindness. I would shudder and experience vertigo at the endless distances above me. It must have been sheer energy.. we are richer in opportunities than any rulers of the past. He lived to eighty-nine in a time when that was very rare. if he or she would accomplish much. How they were used. The banquet of the world is always on the table. To see is to dine like a king or emperor. That's a great way to live. be it a dot or a line.RICHER THAN EMPERORS OR KINGS . Wood block Artist. . ( The Manga . An artist. In this age of onrushing technology and unlimited travel opportunities... He changed his name many times as well. just as how each of us uses our eyes is another matter.. A writer was once asked if he could imagine writing like Shakespeare. and gazed up at the Milky Way.. —HOKUSAI . to learn and to see. I beg those who live as long as I to see if I keep my word. will be alive. JAMES MICHNER) I acclaim these lines of Hokusai.and when I am a hundred and ten everything I do. Japan. At seventy-three I learned a little about the real structure of nature. The earth and the heavens flower for us daily. There is no need to fast in the midst of viands beyond imagining.. Nothing can stop us from seeing except the tired habits of mundane or aborted curiosity and striving.all I produced before the age of seventy is not worth taking into account. far forward away from all man made light. He answered that he used words as well. must be curious and unending in the quest for new visions. I've stood on a ship's deck at night far out as sea. I felt how fortunate to be able to comprehend a little of the wheel of our galaxy and the immensity of the universe.

author Diane Ackerman writes: We may pretend that beauty is only skin deep. In A Natural History of the Senses. Celebrities of screen. riches and talent. wear masks. caring... music or politics are usually seen with a halo of power. ‘Ordinary' people are merely glanced at or ignored unless we know them or plan to try to meet them.When in love. then grin. giving or passion. the heroines are beautiful.. but Aristotle was right when he observed the ‘beauty is a far greater recommendation than any letter of introduction. All human beings. the heroes are handsome. the sight of the beloved has a completeness which no words and no embrace can match. . whether celebrities or otherwise. A smile goes a long way. “The way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe. in fairy tales.” We see people according to our own inner needs and conditioning. you must drop your own mask to enable true seeing of the human being beneath. To truly see people. If you would photograph someone you do not know. Children learn implicitly that good people are beautiful and bad people are ugly. Parents and relatives stir conflicting emotions. we need to love and respect them. and society restates that message in many subtle ways as they grow older. Look in the mirror.HOW DO YOU SEE PEOPLE? In Ways of Seeing.After all. and the wicked sots are ugly. Lovers appear wreathed in splendor..'. author John Berger writes. the first stories most of us hear...

the staring. for the rich and powerful. feathers and straw. contemptuous looks sported by fashion models in ads these days. but not as most westerners might observe beauty. The appearance of beauty truly comes from within. A young man from West Africa saw a five foot high power figure from Zaire in my dwelling studio which I call Spirit House. the music of the earth can bring great meaning and joy and open one's eyes to the splendor in the world. We cannot define beauty. Often. shells. The appearance of people and things changes as we come to know them. . a very difficult part to play. the spiritual. Seen from above. then said.. in the street. and he displays a gaping smile with only three front teeth. In Japanese Noh plays. the actors. from the eye of the beholder. In Ezra Pound and Ernest Fenollosa's book The Classic Noh Theatre of Japan. the beautiful. the memories linger on. the actor must bring the mask to life. straight on. As in developing a taste for eating oysters or grasshoppers. The young man stared for a while. He is covered with ‘medicine' objects. we read that tradition has it that a young man seeks to learn to act as the woman Komachi. the expressions change. or from the side or below.” And further on we read. You are beautiful and that attracts the rich and powerful. time is needed. She tells him “For Noh. Those we love for their inner beauty appear more beautiful as time passes. she asks why he is following her. To succeed. “That is very beautiful. wears a horn on its head.it can be a curse in a way for we need to be loved for who and what we truly are which. It arises from our own perception of the world just as everyone has their own measure of what art they like or hate.. “It is a Noh saying that. How can anyone spend their brief time on earth in the corporate world only grabbing for more money and things? Only the insubstantial. I've forgotten who she is. How a mask can change expression is demonstrated in a website (now gone) which sold exquisitely carved masks. wear exquisitely carved male and female masks. or appreciating minimalists or abstract painters. No one is truly ugly unless the ugliness emanates from inside. skulls. she tells him it is bad for Noh. On hearing his reason. and depending on the lighting. is often the surface of things. He follows a fine old woman eighty years of age. Alarmed. strangely. he must feel the thing as a whole. ‘The heart is the form.What is beautiful and what is ugly is in the eye of the beholder. always men. and watches her every move. are less than beautiful.” I think so too.. from the inside.'” FROM THE HEART I wrote the following to a lovely lady.

‘I've forgotten the lady. the deepest meaning and the challenge. My forgetting of the lady reminds me of an elegant wine steward on a ship who told us about a wine he recommends. our source and our inspiration. wisdom and genius together—Einstein once wrote.S. I have known it. Material success is too often an impenetrable fortress and prison for the mind and soul. all the rest are details. I've forgotten the place. or feather spirits as in the Japanese Noh play Hagoromo . inspiration. To attract even one person to love is a great step forward. To travel. imagination. I apply the word riskit to my name because I will risk and dare anything to find the truth in art and the truth in love. We cannot really teach those who will not hear or see. kindness. "I want to know God's thoughts. I went to the Einstein exhibit at the Natural History Museum this morning —relativity.That is a real tragedy. feel and love. or albatross we soar into the light and see what only a few can see. to feel and be honest with each other. Our art is the present we freely bestow it on all the others who will share these things. Chambertin. A woman with integrity. talent and a great spirit shall be as a bird that has left its cage. therefore it is no illusion. It went like this. to care. . “A man says. You write with the spirit and soul of an artist who has learned that to follow one's own bliss is the only way. Friendly.” we change the future by living it and by creating. crane. P. But you know that. We celebrate the entire world bathed in holy light and filled with becoming. only those who inquire and learn can change. Free as an eagle. to converse is bliss. and seek to learn ever more about the mysteries of our confounding and delightful world. but I remember the wine.'” Isn't that the way it is? Some things are too dear to keep alive except as smoldering embers." So it is with art and the life of creating. those are the wines of life. She flies with those to whom the spiritual life is all important and love is the banner which flaunts desire and freedom. To keep alight the torches of wisdom. sensitivity. To love. All that you say about life being fulfilled with a good companion is exactly the way that I think. We are free when our bonds with another are so light they are fairy spirits darting back and forth—tenins. loving and not quite tame is a good motto. We immerse ourselves in evolution's great journey to discover in that wisdom all we are and ever hope to be.

The actual color is not seen. obscured. The true nature of things remains a mystery. for we only see a small part of the spectrum of electromagnetic waves of which light is a part.. Convenient. To add to the mystery. is so wrapped in conundrums and mystery. It appears to be the product of any kind of combustion. You cannot imagine light emanating from a frozen body in the blackness of space. The waves and buckshot are like are photons of light which experiments have shown actually behave as though they were both waves and particles. What do you see when you see familiar places? The heart of the matter is that we see the world indistinctly. the speed of light remains constant. according to Einstein's theories. not “arrows” of light going in special directions. fuzzily. If you see a red box. I cannot race a “ray” of light anymore than I can choose to swim with a wavelet among myriads fluttering in the sea. it is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. According to Relativity theory. this makes sense! The cosmos is afire with light.000 miles per second. reflected from every living or inanimate thing colors which are not the color of the object or thing. glowing galaxies. time slows down! What is the light? Physicists seem happy to define it with formulas and the wave and photon idea. “Can you see the light” contains more deep meaning than it may seem. — ALBERT EINSTEIN I find it very mysterious that. as you approach the speed of light. Rays of light fill the universe in a kind of chaos of the visible and invisible. It excites me that the medium of light. At the speed of light. after much cogitating. If I could travel at half the speed of light. may be a more accurate description. You or I can never travel at the speed of light or anything approaching it. The real enigma is light itself. the kind that makes hydrogen bombs. light around me would still be speeding at its normal 186. as anything travels closer to the speed of light. You can see. We see what we ourselves absorb and process. but an all pervasive glow. like the art of seeing. blazing stars. however it is a though we imagined countless waves from the sea arrive along with a accompanying flurries of buckshot. it is really absorbing all the other colors and reflecting red. no matter how fast an object or human travels relative to the speed of light. anything that burns although fusion. your mass would be infinite and that is impossible. .. But of course.THE SPEED OF LIGHT The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. a radiance which fills the universe. fire. mass increases. That's easy.

A NEW BRAIN FOR EVERYONE The September 2003 special issue of Scientific American magazine was entitled “Better Brains.” We can reroute visual paths through our brain which will enable us to see through the veils of conditioning and mind-set which hide. researcher Michael M.” He and other researchers now believe the human brain can be extensively remodeled throughout the course of one's life. at any age. such as reading daily or cruising the Internet enhances its powers. we are discussing the art of seeing. we can learn to see what “isn't there. This applies especially to older men and women who often do little to protect their brains in these ways. “Until recently. however. without surgery. Here. In the chapter “The Mutable Brain. disguise and distort much of the beauty and wonder of . If your brain and mine can change all through our lives. These findings are critical to helping overcome various disorders of brain function including Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia.” Merzenich noted. Merzernich says.” I'm for that. proper diet and active use of the brain.” It now appears that exercise. and changes the way in which it operates.. adds neurons. Among the most interesting themes is the new research which indicates that the brain constantly changes.. It had been thought that these processes only happened at certain specific times.. “The brain was constructed to change. sets up new circuitry.which established its critical functionality in critical periods. “scientists thought that the brain was like a computer.a hardwired black box. as when a child learns several languages easily.. without drugs.

It is easy to travel lugging the baggage of one's preconceptions like an old rug or comforter. Later on. worn but homelike. overweening curiosity about this earth. What is often the problem is lack of a passionate. and allows atrophy. the maturing adult takes what he or she sees for granted.” Can you imagine and joy in the favt that our very brains are programmable at any time in our lives. The Scientific American article ends with “The sky's the limit. Scientists now. grow new cells. Only occasionally does the middle-aged adult venture forth into the wide world of vision. that we can grow new neurons. I take trips. replace lost brain cells. peer pressure and smug contentment to shroud the world from view.” many will say. As we age. we lose brain cells constantly. however we have more than we need at all ages. “Oh. add circuits.living on earth. . Brain cell loss is not the problem at any age. A recent study shows that brain cell loss holds steady with aging. our ways of thinking. marvelously claim that we have the ability to change our brains. and use only a small portion. Youth thinks it has forever. That is a gift from the gods. as the real world. reroute the pathways around the brain. and we are trying to figure out the rules.

sumptuous paragraphs which taste like vision. my own shutter is always open. At such times.. another hundred took flight. disheveled. the eye which lurks inside your eye.”The secret of seeing is to sail on a solar wind. views islands hidden in grey mists. smell . translucent. and vision is sweeter than wine. Within minutes flares of light. Instant flashes of light imprint themselves on my camera's sensor because my no-mind sees them like lightning bolts flaring across a western desert on a moonless night. We. can interpret if. Silver sheen burnishes their lofty edges as the sun begins to emerge far below. it sees everything. We see what we see. churns green and white in a tempest. in A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek writes of vision in a chapter called “Seeing. charged and firing without my knowledge. I live for these moments.'” That begs the question. God's rays. like the blush of opening roses. She mentions walking toward an Osage orange tree which did not appear unusual. since it means that only the simplest animals perceive the universe as it is. we learn to see.. The two difference between the two ways of seeing is the difference between walking with and without a camera. I add that you must practice seeing.” She says that she cannot see what a specialist such as a stone collector or a scientist who puts drops of seawater under a microscope sees. content? Annie is impartial. heart. rapt. for the simplest animals have no way to interpret what they see in a conscious way. straddle the seas and rise into the heavens. The sky is afire. and the moment's light prints on my own silver gut. “A nightmare network of ganglia. When I see this way I am above all an unscrupulous observer. pointing out that the sense impressions of one-celled animals are not edited for their brain: ‘This is philosophically interesting in a rather mournful way. epiphanies and endless wonder. As she walked closer. and only if. the sky lights up slowly. not sit on the sidelines. With or without a camera. it's rapture. I see a red ball dimly appear through the dawn mist. editing it for my brain.” says Donald Carr. glows pink and red in the dawn. “When I see this way I sway transfixed and emptied. Dark thunder clouds roil and tumble high into the dawn light. my own shutter opens. Hone and spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail.” Isn't seeing more than a matter of metaphor. waiting to be seen. I walk from shot to shot reading the light on a calibrated meter.” I could as easily reverse that statement and say that when I walk with a camera. a brilliant observer who transforms daily visions into fragrant. Out over the sea. When I walk with a camera. “Not a branch or a twig budged. giant luminous ladders. above mountaintops or on the land. whetted.” She says that it's a matter of keeping one's eyes open. When I walk without a camera. of writing and thinking of what you see? Isn't it an almost orgasmic like delight of suddenly being jolted into vision. Your eager and inquisitive primal eye. The mead of the Gods tastes sweet. exhausted. Annie says it is possible in deep space to sail on a solar wind. . What a camera sees depends on the mind. An endlessly inquiring and insightful mind is as restless as the shimmering mirror of the sea reflecting scudding cloud castles.. broadside to the merest puff. on the other side of the spectrum. Annie says there is another kind of seeing that involves a letting go. Burning like desire. soul and passion behind the lens. I hope this phenomenal gift will be or is already with you.SEEING IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT Annie Dillard. whether at sea. when suddenly a hundred red-winged blackbirds flew out of the tree. The birds were weightless as well as invisible. cuts and splices what I do see. What she or we can see is all there as well. I remember dawn breaking over dark seas as I flew out over the Caribbean in a helicopter. props up rainbows. Agreed.

like vision. love or art without a sense of humor? Read A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek . What is vision. BETTER TO LIGHT A CANDLE. a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle. You've read it? Read it again! I will. ravages of floods and eruptions. “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness. And she has a sense of humor. the slaughter of millions of innocents. Deep in the .. tv. sound and feel like vision. and truth. life. the scourge of disease —endless travails which human beings have endured since the dawn of history. To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me. —ALBERT EINSTEIN A see-er or seer cannot be too comfortable. To see is to understand the powerful currents that rage across the seas and continents of the earth—dreadful visions of war and genocide.” said Eleanor Roosevelt. it pours out a balm upon a troubled world. You and I are deeply troubled and moved by these things. Can an artist or new vision make the world a better place? Art comes from truly seeing. beauty. The candles lit by art burn brighter than the explosions of stars. radio and the Internet.. Such spectacles mercilessly invade our vision through the roar and outpourings from newspapers.

They were too large.playground of myths which inhabit our minds. Dodging the sprinklers in the garden in front of the conservatory. understanding and desire inflame our souls. I expected to see the ikebana I loved. He pointed to the rooms and said that was the contemporary ikebana. Soon. I took photographs of the installations in a somewhat shaken manner. I tried to peer deep into the flowers. I exhausted the subject for the moment. without shadows we could not comprehend the light. 2003. You and I are those fiery furnaces. However. What I saw when I walked inside took me by surprise and puzzled me. an estate and garden in the Bronx open to the public. There were room size installations of various natural and inorganic materials which bore no resemblance to the ceramic vases holding the ikebana I have known. I walked up to the man at the desk and asked him where the ikebana was to be found. There is a dark side to art. What we know of evil we cannot ever lightly accept. I never even noticed a giant explosion of shrubbery attached behind the rear porch. SIGHT UNSEEN—MYSTERIOUS IKEBANA On July 6. lighthouses or blazing candelabra which illuminate some small part of the darkness. Now an then you need a good blow . to different from my mind set. I went with a friend to visit Wave Hill. That was fine. It was called Perfection/Impermanence: Contemporary Ikebana. passion. flowers arranged asymmetrically in vases. We walked to an exhibition in the Glyndor Gallery located inside a red brick house. I used my macro lens and diffused strobe flash. I went equipped with my Canon digital cameras to see and record the life of the flowers there. from my love of delicate ikebana arrangements. I could not yet see these things as ikebana. just as there is a dark side to all of human nature. love.

When I view “quiet” asymmetrical arrangements of traditional ikebana. That provokes me to see it again until I see it. Progressive Japanese flower artists have developed Contemporary Ikebana. I see with my camera. to be alive. At Wave Hill. said this in part about the exhibit: Ikebana comes from a long tradition that celebrates life and respects plants as living. to live. I saw little. ikiru –– to live. The Wave Hill site on the internet: wavehill. Arrangement. I went to Wave Hill to see flower gardens. ikebana.. but first I have to constantly see anew. The practice requires a disciplined training in which the artist strives to create perfection and impermanence in each installation or display. the artists'' own creative process and energy. to see in the best light. It employs natural and inorganic materials. a form of arrangement that is released from the confines of the vase. not enough. I saw a new variation of a loved theme. To arrange. in those incredulous first moments. that heralds true seeing. The origins of the word stem from three verbs: ikeru to place or arrange. relationship to a space.org. to arrive at one's essence. I see the raging drama of great storms at sea. I write about seeing and I just realized that I didn't see anything at first at the exhibit and. certainly. and encourages free expression and often takes the form of large-scale installations. yet I didn't see it. and the concept of time or the transience of living matter are all components of Ikebana. What will I see when I learn to see the new contemporary ikebana? .along the side of the head to wake you up from smugness or complacency. the silence of dewdrops on wild flowers in the mist. use of living plants. she saw everything. breathing things. the roar and splash of icebergs calving. the unheard clash of galaxies devouring each other in the blackness of space. Annie said that without her camera she was an unscrupulous observer. ikasu –– to put in the best light. to arrive at one's essence.

There is more to ikebana. My own art of image making feeds on this Japanese art. It is only through the asymmetric re-arrangement of dull order, the baffling discovery of chaos in a dewdrop or heart of a flower, the broken, shattered, torn veil of dusty memories which smothers insight, sight and true vision, that the newborn world emerges. To discover a universe in a pot of flowers seems odd. I care only to see, to devour that which baffles my sight, to probe and to understand what makes this reeling globe a fantasy and a kaleidoscope of epiphanies. The following came from the web site www.ramalila.net: Through the act of arranging flowers one can realize Gods ' blessing that pervades all the universe and will be given eyes to see his own road to life. — SENEI IKENOBO The Japanese believe Ikebana speaks directly to the heart of the creator and the viewer. It is sculpture that breathes and expresses stability and the spirit of Nature, a link to the whole universe. The positive ( yoh ) and negative ( in ) energy, and the harmony therein, represent the energies of life and death and the passing of time - past, present and future. The flower bud contains, for instance, the energy force of life towards the future. There are generally three principal parts to the Ikebana arrangement: ‘‘shin'' - the main stem representing man ( yoh); ‘ ‘soe'' - representing heaven ( yoh ); and ‘‘tai'' - representing earth ( in) . We have here another interpretation of the meaning of ikebana. In Japanese Shinto religion, the gods (kami) can be present in any outstanding natural object or phenomenon. The artistic expression of ikebana originated in Buddhist alter decorations honoring the dead. Floral arrangements are part of the Zen aesthetics of the tea ceremony. An ikebana placed in the display alcove may be the principal or only decoration in an otherwise virtually empty humble room. Contemporary or installation type ikebana deviates greatly from the original form of flowers arranged in a vase. Typically it is site specific, and is often room filling and three dimensional.

Janet Koplos in her booklet about the exhibition Perfection/Impermanence writes, “Ohtsubo once filled a room...with lightning like zigzags made of disposable chopsticks doweled together with toothpicks. A younger ikebana-trained artist, Shogo Kariyazaki has exhibited

blocks of soil seemingly sliced straight out of the earth and a rowboat filled with clay...Anyone who has ever relaxed on the grass and made a chain of clover blossoms can recognize the elements, and anyone who has ever looked at a flower or a seed and envisioned a universe can grasp its implications.” I noticed that the contemporary ikebana at Wave Hill seemed less asymmetrical, more concerned with room filling installations. Hiroshi Teshigahara's bamboo works however, maintain a delicate balance of symmetry and asymmetry. What caused the early Japanese to create a style so out of kilter with the symmetry and balance we westerners are so often fond of? Here is one answer from the Sogetsu School of Ikebana: Sofu Teshigahara was born in Tokyo in 1907. He learnt flower-arranging from his father who had studied many styles of different schools. When twenty-five he was ready to start the Sogetsu School of Ikeban. He believed that Ikebana is not merely decorating with flowers, it is an Art. That the great difference between floral decoration and Ikebana lies in the belief that once all the rules are learnt, the techniques mastered, we must sculpt. Thus we create living sculptures. — onthenet.com , ikebana In the introduction to his book, The Art of Ikebana , his son, Hiroshi wrote, “The expression of beauty through natural materials, which is the essential art of ikebana depends on the integrity of the person creating the composition. Ikebana is much more than a decorative hobby... I marvel at how the Japanese in the past high the ranking noble samurai, along with those traditionalists left today managed to live in a way that surrounded them with visual and audible beauty. The lower classes had no opportunity to create these things. Serene beauty appears in the design of Japanese houses, temples and rock gardens, in their painted screens, ikebana, bonsai or dwarf trees, in the masked ritual dramas of the Kabuki and Noh theaters, in the tea ceremony. Shinto and Zen Buddhism were at the root of this way of life. The centuries of civil wars all but ended after Ieyasu won the great battle at Sekigahara in 1600 and assumed the Shogunate of all Japan. The noble samurai, at leisure now, learned sensitivity to all of the arts. We live in a time when vision is limited because it is saturated with popular art media of every kind. To be in the middle of a clamoring traffic jam of media year after year can lead to the loss of sensibility, to a numbness in the deepest part of the spirit. That is living death. My greatest pleasure while visiting Japan was to walk slowly through and contemplate the many Zen temples in Kyoto rather than the bustle, neon signs and madcap anarchy of downtown Tokyo. In Kyoto, a great peace prevails in the asymmetrical “gardens” made of raked sand and rocks.

THE CELESTIAL SPIRIT

Cherish your visions. Cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.”

—JAMES ALLEN, As a Man Thinketh, Vision Quotes

We see with the eyes of poetry as in the quote from Jane Hirshfield. An especially beautiful example is the play Hagoromo , translated by Pound and Fenollosa. The introduction reads, “The plot of the play Hagoromo , the Feather-mantle, is as follows: The priest finds the Hagoromo, the magical feather-mantle of a Tennin, an aerial spirit or celestial dancer, hanging upon a bough. She demands its return. He argues with her, and finally promises to return it, if she will teach him her dance or part of it. She accepts the offer. The Chorus explains the dance as symbolical of the daily changes of the moon...In the finale, the Tennin is supposed to

disappear like a mountain slowly hidden in mist. The play shows the relation of the early Noh to the God-dance.” We learn to see through all of our senses. Poetry awakens our inner souls to the beauty that censorship in the brain often disguises or discards. We read, we see; it is as natural as breathing if we read with our hearts wide open and our souls bare. Here are two excerpts from Hagoromo. The first occurs when the Tennin argues with the fisherman for the return of her feather-mantle, the second while she does the sacred dance prior to disappearing. Chorus : Enviable colour of breath, wonder of clouds that fade along the sky that was our accustomed dwelling; hearing the sky-bird, accustomed, and well accustomed, hearing the voices grow fewer, the wild geese fewer and fewer, along the highways of air, how deep her longing to return! Plover and seagull are on the waves in the offing. Do they go or do they return? She reaches out for the very blowing of the spring wind against heaven. And later, near the end of the play: Chorus : The spring mist is widespread abroad; so perhaps the wild olive's flower will blossom in the infinitely unreachable moon. Her flowery head-ornament is putting on colour; this truly is sign of the spring. Not sky is here, but the beauty; and even here comes the heavenly, wonderful wind. O blow, shut the accustomed path of the clouds. O, you in the form of a maid, grant us the favour of your delaying. The pine-waste of Miwo puts on the colour of spring. The bay of Kiyomi lies clear before the snow upon Fuji. Are not all these presages of the spring? There are but few ripples beneath the piny wind. It is quiet along the shore. There is naught but a fence of jewels between the earth and the sky, and the gods within and without, beyond and beneath the stars, and the moon unclouded by her lord, and we who are born of the sun. This alone intervenes, here where the moon is unshadowed, here in Nippon, the sun's field. How sacred and beautiful it is to have these visions bestowed by words. The vision of poetry unlocks the shutters of our minds. We live for beauty, which can only appear, like the feather spirit, when it is released into the winds, sky and light of the universe.

in clouds. or do you drink the sacred wine and whirl off into unknown reaches of holy space. I want to see everything..MYSTIC VISION In his book. I want to see. I will embrace every religion in spirit. Brain and Vision . It's worse than drugs or alcohol. Tajikistan in central Asia on 30 September 1207 to a family of learned theologians. and you can't control it. What you get is what your brain decides. prophet or shaman's intoxicated ruminations. like pterodactyls? I neither proselytize for or embrace any man's religion or woman's either. Noble prize winning scientist David Hubel writes: The visual world is systematically mapped on the geniculate and cortex. In those days it was not obvious that the brain operates on the information it receives. or can you? Detoxification.” Digest that! What you see isn't what you get. transforming it in such a way as to make it more useful. Do any of you see visions in the church while eating the body of the Lord. Their complete functions are still little understood although you may read that the paths are charted. approaching God as though he was a great bird which wafted down sparkling feathers in the holy light. endless work at detoxification of the visual structure of your brain is needed. He wrote of the mystical side of life. The poet Rumi was born in Wakhsh.the message of the next chapter will be that a structure such as the primary visual cortex does exert profound transformations on the information it receives. and has shed his or her mortal coils for the embrace of the . and in metaphysical journeying. Eye. don't you?. (Author: The geniculates are two way stations in the thalamus where visual information from the retina is processed on the way to the visual cortex. Poetry breeds visions as does the mystic.) What was not clear in the 1950's is what that mapping might mean. The pulpit's a bully place if the priest be wise enough..

We can't all be divers hooked up to aqua lungs and oxygen tanks in or out of cages. asymmetrical spreads of branches high over my head. I presided like a floating spirit. not seeing but seeing.unseeable and holy of holies. It keeps the shark out but it keeps you in while outside rainbow schools of fish flaunt flamboyant colors. which. shorn of leaves. The lady with me said she watched me “dance” around the trees which. Hurry. O bird. We can dive naked and filled with wonder into the flowering. I put saw in italics because my no-mind or intuitive reflex unconscious mind saw these trees. dancing around the splendid trunks. You have leapt free of the cage Your wings are flung back in the wind of God.. displayed their sculptural grandeur.” One mild winter day. Single branches often appeared too massive and heavy to support themselves. and the baths of all the western stars. wheeling. hurry. fly away bird to your native home. seeing deep into the hearts and spirits of these noble trees which flung their convoluted.. I was in a trance. I saw a singular kind of beauty. hurry. Fly away. The vision of a shaman must be earned by dying and rebirth. to the source of life —RUMI The cage of restricted vision is like the steel cage used by divers to film the great white shark. The camera did its work. spinning mystery of life on earth “to sail beyond the sunsets. is not a bad way to look at the art of seeing. Leave behind the stagnant and marshy waters. We are not granted vision without cost. VERY TREE . enraptured. ratcheting. I visited the Bayard Cutting Arboretum on Long Island to see and photograph the trees for a fine art project I'm working on.

Earth's absolute arithmetic Of being is not in the flowering stick Filled with the sperm of sun But in a figure seen Behind our eyelids when we close Slow petals of the brain to match the night's repose. Reject: and let there be Only tree.Forget the tube of bark. Colors pour in and out: Here is a timeless structure wrought Like the candelabrum of pure thought. Getting no seed to sprout. — STANLEY KUNITZ . Bright incidental bird Whose melody is fanned Among the bundled sheaves Wild spool of the winding word. Tenacious like a hand Gnarled rootage in the dark Interior of land. Stripped of green root and leaf. Alliterative leaves.

worms. snails. Jellyfish. in eternal night. Deep beneath the surface of the sea.. Signalling or seeing. starfish. The rest is lost in heat. bursts of light flicker round . color has little function. Billions of single celled organisms—dinoflagellates. or alert themselves to predators. They still do at night during wartime to avoid breaking radio silence. ship captains at sea flashed coded light signals to each other. creatures communicate with light. A Celebration Communicate with light? We humans do it. This essay taken from my travel journals was written while making an Atlantic ocean crossing on Cunard Line's QE2. as in the rest of the natural world. hiding or hunting.But in the gloomy abyss beneath. clams. At night. A deep sea jellyfish spins like a wheel of fireworks. frighten. — THE OCEANS . Far beneath. At night the ocean's surface often glows with luminous light.. squid. here. half plant. before the advent of radio. They've been my base during many adventures. in that frightening abyss where light never calls. a constellation of fish radiates light. It deals with the phenomena of light in the depths of the sea. shrimps and other crustaceans convert chemical energy into light energy. luring or decoying — color and pattern are basic to communication and concealment among animals in the ocean. jellyfish and their relatives the sea-pens arm themselves with light to dazzle. half animal—flash myriads of galaxies dancing on the murmuring waves. or at least we used to. Beneath the sea nearly 100 percent of bioluminescent energy is converted into light.BRITTLE STARS I've traveled to hundreds of ports of call around the world on great ships. We humans get only 10 percent of electric energy out light bulbs in the form of light. sea-squirts.

If a barrage of lights from its arms fail to frighten off its enemy. dangle luminous 'bait' from their dorsal fin fishing poles to lure prey into gaping. My light shines forever. coded mites. fly into the clouds of light. shark toothed jaws. journey on the solar wind into deep space. illuminate. They alone can see the red shrimps. What a dance that would be! No special effects. Below the glittering QE2 in the abyssal sea. leaving a morsel rather than a banquet. crawls off to safety. interstellar wastes trembling with nascent . I glow. miles down. Brittle star. you birth light as we live by light. firefleas swim in groups. I wish I could flash lights in the dark and dance away from my sparkling body parts. The light comes from clouds of glowing bacteria inhabiting the angler fish's lures. another kind of celebration takes place—a celebration of light. continues to flash. Radiate. A few clever fish employ a headlight which emits deep red light in the abyss where no colored light penetrates. In these labyrinthian corridors. tapestries of fishy design. Myriads of tiny creatures flash lights. the brittle star. I will glow with a terrible fire to light deep seas of my mind. a fireworks display to mock a billion whirling chalices of stars birthing in deep space. Ocean. At night QE2 sparkles with a thousand lights. veritable clouds of light. Glowing bacteria flash signals from the eyes of flashlight fish. miraculously. pulsing lights. shed my sparkling limbs round Jupiter and Saturn. Most wonderful. I think. glow. luminescent signals to open up dialogues. discover their consorts and mate in the dark. themselves dark. clouds of shimmering thoughts wink on and off. I wrap myself in light's energy a thousand fathoms down. like voracious angler fish. sparking and spitting like a Catherine's wheel. biochemistry converting energy to light.its body. invisible to other predators who see no colors. the brittle-star fish outsmarts its enemies with a brilliant strategy. lights out. I will enter dreadful abysses where thoughts. Meanwhile. it sheds an arm tip. dangle luminescent lures to entrap my conscious mind and bend my silver head to darkness and despair. minus one arm tip. I dance through the heavens like the seven daughters of Atlas. In the Caribbean. Each male flashes points of light in unique individual patterns. which. Angler fish. an eternal delight. The females recognize their mate's patterns. who have evolved eyelid like shutters to turn out the lights when danger comes. I ride beams of light into abyssal clouds. a beacon across billions of light years. I am one with Oceanus's womb of sentient life. you are my guiding light.

a Soul-Entity. I am certain that there are more yet to be found. light alone reigns supreme. as yet unrecognized……There is an immense ocean over which the mind can sail. I want more ideas of soul-life.novas sparkling amidst fiery seas of condensing dust. — RICHARD JEFFRIES . Light. There is so much beyond all that has ever yet been imagined. 1883. glitter. flame into furious fusion to cradle countless newborn stars in a universal ocean of pure light.lies just outside the pale of common thought. A great life . The Story of My Heart THE GOD OF LIGHT . upon which the vessel of thought has not yet been launched.an entire civilization . I alight where cosmic furnaces glow. There is an entity.

the wild spirit which tints my work with glowing colors. The swallows wheeled and climbed.. the limitless space.. lighting the least speck of dust. like a moonstruck swain chasing the reflections of the moon in a pond (Li Po.. always surprising. in the midst of the supernatural. and ever present as my thought. heating the parapet. Lighting the broad river. HELIOS was the all-seeing god of the sun. The Story of My Heart I worship the sun god. I am alive because the sun wills it. The fixed point of day—the sun. among the immortal. Month and Year. snow. I felt too in the midst of eternity then. always changing. Spirits & Monsters I am infatuated with light like a lover. the seventeenth century Japanese master of the haiku or seventeen syllable form of poetry wrote: “. the goddesses Day.D. The Narrow Road to the Far North . by extension. Burning on the great sun stood in the sky. the sky. like a spirit of many colors. is said to have drowned watching the moon in a pool. eighth century A.were said to attend his throne). Light and life embrace on this earth and throughout the misty regions of interstellar space. The sun is my familiar. and man's pollution all change the way we see light. I felt the presence of the immense powers of the universe. In his book. is very beautiful. The light from the sun is filtered by the atmosphere and influenced by the angle with which it reaches the earth. I was intensely conscious of it.. Light is the great creator.There was a faint blue colour in the air hovering between the built-up banks. The light. and the three sisters called Seasons . The very nature of the air in different parts of the world imparts a variety of colors to way light is seen. is evanescent. the god of the gift of sight and of the measurement of time (the time goddesses . possess one thing in common. Mists. in the hollows of the houses. there that moment. So intensely conscious of the sun. I am light itself transposed into living mind. Dawn and sunset light. Basho. glowing steadfastly upon me as when I rested in the narrow valley grooved out in prehistoric times. that is. and the greatness of the material realised the spirit. while drunk on wine). He was also. twittered and glided downwards.all who have achieved excellence in any art. as we all know. volcanic eruptions which throw vast clouds of dust into the atmosphere. In my travels. — Theoi Project. A Guide to Greek Gods. the first' hippie' or flower child and considered the greatest of the Chinese poets. By these I saw my soul. lighting the great heaven. against the lit walls. even when revisiting places. I have never seen the light the same anywhere in the world. The sun filters through my thoughts the way it burns the mist off a mountainside. — RICHARD JEFFRIES . the immortal.the twelve sister Hours. I touched the supernatural.. by these I knew the supernatural to be more intensely real than the sun. the broad walls. Helios was a close friend of the other fire-god Hephaistos. as a inquisitive world traveler and recorder of the earth's cultures should. I felt out into the depths of the ether. I worship other gods as well. rain. to be . Burning on steadfast. fog. poet. I felt it. gleaming on my finger-nail.

Here is a brief on the character of light: In 1665-1666. dictates the color we see. The light. because there is no such thing as “true” color. Rather. Pollock. Color is the great deceiver. "White" sunlight is not really whitethere is no wavelength of light that is white. Whatever such a mind sees is a flower. too late. illuminate the natural world. The beauty of art is that it is subjective. You will see the yellow change its apparent hue each time. Isaac Newton studied sunlight and discovered that it could be broken down into a rainbow of colors by a prism.one with nature throughout the four seasons of the year. or they are ignored. then a red card. In the artist's own time. you will see tiny dots. An easy test is to put a bright yellow card next to a blue card. and each of us sees color in his or her own way. probably red. like flashes of lightning. Basho's short poems. (See incandescent light below) In the same way that the sun can produce light of many different wavelengths that appears white when mixed. the shapes and colors are often not recognized as desirable or lovely. whether artificial or natural. The artist creates color harmonies or dissonances according to his or her desires or compulsions. it is a mixture of many different colors that appears white to our brains after being processed by our eyes. as with Van Gogh. televisions and computer screens also mix light to produce different colors. a large range of colors can be produced. Van Gogh. and a host of others waited for the public's vision to catch up. If you examine your computer screen or television with a magnifying glass. for photographs tell no more truth than a wielder of the camera is capable of revealing. finally a black card. It is the same with the art of photography in its many guises. and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon. green and blue. often. By mixing these colors in different amounts. Today. Matisse. We see color in relation to other colors. we know that the rainbow of colors one gets from a prism is a consequence of refraction and the different wavelengths of different colors. . DeKooning.

regular light bulbs (not florescent) and fires are all incandescent sources of light. As temperatures are increased. infrared. have such a long wave length and low energy that our eyes can't detect them and they pass through our bodies. applied to different wavelengths and energies. It was found that at lower temperatures. increasingly more energetic radiation is emitted. ultraviolet. so these materials would glow red. Incandescence involves the vibration of entire atoms. and other electromagnetic radiation of longer and shorter wavelengths. different colors. for example. This includes radio waves. and eventually "white-hot. for example. gamma rays. Likewise. fire and light bulbs. microwaves.The "electromagnetic spectrum" is simply a phrase used to describe electromagnetic radiation of all wavelengths. the photons released have different energies. their different wavelengths and different energies allow them to have different effects on matter. the hottest stars appear to be a blueish-white while cooler stars such as our sun are more yellowish in appearance. . If all electromagnetic radiation is fundamentally the same thing. these materials would emit radiation in the infrared wavelengths which we feel as heat (fires. x rays. It is the most common type of light that you see everyday sunlight. you might ask. Some sources of incandescent light are: the sun. Incandescent light is also known as "black body radiation. then yellow." Although ideal black body materials don't exist in reality. This is why a fire tends to be redder than a halogen lamp-the filament in a halogen lamp is heated to a higher temperature than normal fires. There are two basic types of light sources. and therefore. Depending on how hot the material is. The wonderful variety of the electromagnetic spectrum is all a result of the same laws. visible light. Incandescent light is produced when atoms are heated and release some of their thermal vibration as electromagnetic radiation. Radio waves. then orange. "Why don't we see radio waves like we see light?" or "Why do we need special infrared light bulbs to heat things up?" Although all portions of the electromagnetic spectrum are governed by the same laws. hence appearing to be "black bodies"." This seemingly self-contradictory name arises from the history of physics-scientists studying this type of light emission modeled their theories on ideal materials that would absorb all colors of light. while luminescence involves only the electrons. most substances are close enough that this color sequence can be observed. emit most of their energy in the infrared).

perhaps infinite collection of galaxies. or radioactivity as in luminous paints. chemical reactions as in Halloween light sticks and fire-flies. light emitting diodes. supernovas. but the view is enchanting and illuminating. black holes and a hundred thousand more . not an entire atom." Thus. It's as good a theory as any. television screens and computer monitors. to name just a few examples. ThinkQuest '99 Those paragraphs are like taking a run up a hill or mountainside. THE BIG BANG & LIGHT At what incredible moment after the big bang ten or fifteen billion years ago did light suddenly enter the universe? Was it there already and was light the creator of the universe? I like to think that light is God's glowing mantle which He threw across the blackness to begin the process of making galaxies. stars and planets. because it is produced when an electron releases some of its energy to electromagnetic radiation. when an electron jumps down to a lower energy level. It turns out that electrons like to have energy at specific "energy levels. neon light. continued luminescence requires something to continuously give the electrons a boost to a higher energy level to keep the cycle going. No physicist truly believes he or she knows what started the colossal. It's difficult. or light of a specific color.Unlike incandescence. luminescent light occurs at lower temperatures. Therefore. mercury-vapor street lights. —Discovering Light . This boost may be provided by many sources: electrical current as in florescent lights. it will release a specific amount of energy which becomes a photon. star clusters. quasars.

author Robert Farris Thompson writes ”. but they can only imagine the world of light. the magnificence of the gaze. Is light the spiritual power of the universe? Is it the holy of holies. When a person comes under the influence of a spirit. but this is not a life we would embrace. that swing in the heavens.astounding events which daily explode around the universe. he will open his eyes abnormally. Let theirs be the light... as theirs is the darkness. . his ordinary eyes swell to accommodate the inner eyes. Light/Dark... he and he are twins that with and in their arts bring alive in this earth the things that sing. Schvaneveldt wrote on the Internet. a pin prick of a being shivering in the night. I am dwarfed. Blind people adjust to their world of four senses. or do they somehow create luminescence inside their minds. There is here a relative big bang! Albert Einstein: a brain is a silent Internet. the grail itself. reflect ashe.the radiance of the eyes.” SEEING WHAT ISN’T THERE . I feel the star filled cosmos suddenly race away from me into the limitless deserts and seas of outer space.. the unanswered questions of creation? Life can exist without light. “Albert Einstein and Steve Hawkings. the eyes of the god. as in certain places deep in the sea or in buried caverns..look about grandly with fixed expressions. What is the peculiar quality of vision that we do not truly know from where inside our brains or minds it emanates? In Flash of the Spirit.persons possessed of the spirit of a Yoruba deity. the brightness of the spirit.. He will then look very broadly across the whole of all the devotees. Lee W. I like to think so. In the desert or at sea at night. Lightness. Darkness. African & Afro-American Art and Philosophy .According to the Yoruba: The gods have “inner” or “spiritual” eyes (oju inun) with which to see the world of heaven and “outside eyes” (oju ode) with which to view the world of men and women..

I work with my digital files like an action painter.Oh harp and altar. Poem: To Brooklyn Bridge On a breezy beautiful sunny summer day I walk across the Brooklyn Bridge with my Canon EOS1Ds digital top of the line camera. Basquiat.. audacious and unruly way like Pollock. The digital image is my sketch.” . free of the constraints of nascent technology and tyrannical mind set. Prayer of pariah. can be seen shimmering through the veil of order. light and shade. sometime sweep.. abstractly.'chaos' now and then. Unto us lowliest. Vaulting the sea.. Suddenly. the Photoshop program my brush and paints. That is what the camera. That has nothing to do with the vast spectrum of electromagnetic radiation that plays invisibly all about me as I walk the bridge. in the last few years. contrast.. The 11 plus megapixel camera creates huge 52. the prairies’ dreaming sod. —HART CRANE. or de Kooning.9 megabyte files for each image when decompressed. I am not interested in seeing the “reality” of these images. of the fury fused (How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!) Terrific threshold of the prophet’s pledge. immaculate sigh of stars. That is what my brain forces me to do. which is designed to record approximately what I see will do. My aim is to capture the play of clouds against the massive towers and myriad cables and wires.. “.—. descend And of the curveship lend a myth to God. even in Mozart. vividly recreating what is really there but cannot be seen. Beading thy path—condensed eternity: And we have seen night lifted in thine arms.... illuminations really. Against the traffic lights that skim thy swift Unfractioned idiom. wild. I experiment with the images in a boisterous. The digital camera and digital programs free me to discover worlds of colors.. I will down load these images into my computer and work with them in Adobe Photoshop. O Sleepless as the river under thee. Pianist Alfred Brendel quotes the German romantic poet Novalis. and the lover’s cry.

quasars and colossal galactic collisions crossing limitless chasms of outer space. so tiny I cannot see the light. deep. a nothingness containing no space. flaring like the mystical sunrise in my brain stem. I am the cognizant photons of holy light. —NOVALIS I'm intoxicated with exploding light and fireworks which burst from my digital brain transmuted through my digital camera—into the holy grail of energy. I desire to see star births. a curious form of vacuum. That is. someone is making it up--we are in the realm of philosophy. spanning gravity's timeless. there was a void. busy with the constant state of remaking itself. no matter. iridescent. We don't know anything about the universe until it reaches the mature age of a billionth of a trillionth of a second. pure. Tiny. I long to see light itself. Only God knows what happened at the very beginning: —Nobel Prize winning physicist Leon Lederman . no sound. Yet the laws of nature were in place and this curious vacuum held potential. A story logically begins at the beginning. tintinnabulations which ravish my inner eye. down in the unconscious realms where primitive neurons transmit a web of light which envelops the universe.Before all the wondrous shows of the widespread space around him. When you read or hear anything about the birth of the universe.with its colors. digital space and I see . but this story is about the universe and unfortunately there are no data for the very beginnings--none. zero. I prowl the infinitely tiny foam of quantum mechanics where the universe quietly explodes insubstantial probabilities. its rays and undulations. no time. I want to see deep. painted with black rainbows. its gentle omnipresence in the form of the wakening Day. a hologram of gravity's impure architecture. In the very beginning. the all-knowing light which irradiates my mind. I am the light. some very short time after creation in the big bang. I want to observe ravening flares of pure energy thousands of light years across. I am lost in space. no light. sentient thing loves not the all-joyous light -. what living.

your “desktop” computer analyzes and censors much of the fireworks entering your eye. From the retina. Right there at the retina. The eye is not a window. What you see isn't there. The optic nerve fibers from the eyes terminate at two bodies in the thalamus (the aforementioned structure in the middle of the brain) known as the Lateral Geniculate Nuclei (or LGN for short). the quintillions of photons each split second which would literally blind you if accepted raw. the results travel on a new set of axons to the primary visual cortex. It's a dreary illusion fostered by evolution and nurture. writes: The German physicist and physiologist Herman von Helmhotz (18211894) described vision as a process of unconscious inference: . also known as V1.THE MYSTERIOUS EYE The eye is the supreme organ created by evolution and it is totally misunderstood! That is so important that some of the information below is repeated. not to your skull. in Visual Intelligence. And that's just the beginning. You may jump ahead if desired. The computing power at your retina exceeds that of the most powerful supercomputers. After further processing. Rods and cones in vast arrays (120 million rods and 7 million cones) accept the incoming photons as electrical signals and switch on and off accordingly. and to other parts of your brain. One LGN lies in the left hemisphere and the other lies in the right hemisphere. Your retina contains hundreds of millions neurons working in parallel. the electrical impulses are sent through an electric cable containing over one million wires called axons. Have you “flown” your eye? It is attached to your brain. Hubel .

The psychic activities that lead us to infer that there in front of us at a certain place is a certain object of a certain character. It forwards these constructions to your emotional and rational intelligence. “. I discovered. I uncovered what my eye could not see. which use them as raw materials in further constructions..it is intimately connected to your emotional intelligence and your rational intelligence. visual feasts. We must strike through the masks of obscurity and mirage and uncover all the many colored spices of Samarkand. perplex neuroscientists today. It constructs the elaborate visual realities in which you live and move and interact..” The objects of obscure desire we think we see. like an evanescent whirlpool of shifting shapes and colors. in the cloud filled skies above the bridge a kaleidoscope of elegant abstract swirls and eddies. In their result they are equivalent to a conclusion. are generally not conscious activities..... When I worked with my Brooklyn Bridge images. thereby making a distinction of some sort between them and the common so-called conscious conclusions. but a sophisticated process of construction whose intricacies we are now beginning to understand. Playing with the large digital files in Photoshop.” Hoffman concludes his book with these words: Visual intelligence occupies almost half of your brain's cortex. I sensed that these paintings in the sky were there. . or fantasize we see.. blinded by the need to eliminate irrelevant information. it may be permissible to speak of the psychic acts of ordinary perception as unconscious conclusions. as behaviorists thought for much of the twentieth century. see. “The British neurophysiologist David Marr (1946-1981) described visual constructions by analogy to information processing in computers: “Vision is a process that produces from images of the external world a description that is useful to the viewer and not cluttered with irrelevant information. but my eye could not see them.. using what I imagined was there. Von Helmhotz surmised these things a century and a half ago. In his preface to Visual Intelligence.what happens when you see is not a mindless process of stimulus and response. relevant or irrelevant. Hubel goes on to say. it reveas what I entice it to reveal. The computer has no inhibitions. but unconscious ones.. Donald Hoffman writes.

O'Keefe and de Kooning imagined. We must learn as well to instantaneously recognize and discard cliche patterns which enthrall us with scenes resembling our past visions. we must learn to see. garbage out. enables me to create images I have only imagined but never seen. Playing. and I use the word playing in its most creative sense. Today. we can paint our visions in the computer and print them. discovered and painted their fantasies on richly colored. . We must take chances and seek aleatory or chance compositions. at the cutting edge of digital technology. Such visionaries as Van Gogh. It comes from an eye that learns to instantaneously recognizes significant patterns and make strong compositions in the camera before clicking the shutter button.” That should never stop us from making tens of thousands of “mistakes.9 megabyte) files which come from my Canon EOSD1s digital camera contain a wealth of information which my emotionally and rationally conditioned eye cannot see. Hidden in chaos is a higher “order. I can imagine what is there. First. Learning to see with a camera is learning to see anywhere. or who subtly transforms realities. wildly flamboyant canvases. The large (53.DIGITAL CAMERA GIGABYTES Our new tools create the possibilities for discovering a new vision of the world. The art of image transformation begin with a new vision of the world. Monet. Suddenly. Matisse. As an artist.” seeds we continuously plant to await a bountiful harvest of beauty. “Garbage in. my eye/camera symbiosis gives me the vision of a painter who constructs from the raw material of nature his or her wildest fantasies.” The well known computer adage goes.

wild wisteria hangs from the pine trees. The hut was near a shrine of Hachiman. He saw in flashes of seventeen syllable .. like whirling kaleidoscopes. I. the god of war.. the Zen moment of being there. bruised my heels on the rough beaches of the northern sea where tall dunes make walking so hard.. We breathe slowly. gave up city life some ten years ago and now I'm approaching fifty. Basho describes his life in the simple hut in which he lived for a while. Inspired vision trusts the intuitive unconscious. or quietly observes utter simplicity in shades of grey. photons which strike our eyes. He saw with his clear“camera” eye. Basho's haiku poems were written with the inner eye. when the conscious self dissolves into a hail and firestorm of flamboyant colors and shapes. We live in an all encompassing shower of infinitely tiny meteorites. And now this year here I am drifting by the waves of Lake Biwa. which was built in 1063. THE HUT OF THE PHANTOM DWELLING In a letter to a friend written in 1690. and a cuckoo now and then passes by.Azaleas continue in bloom. enter our brains and coalesce into miracles or dreary dust.Onrushing technology gives a digital artist a suddenly extravagant and limitless palette containing countless gigabytes of information—like the human brain and the starry universe. a snail without its shell. I'm like a bagworm that's lost its bag. Light from the sun radiates more photons each second than could be stored as bytes on all the computers in the world. endow the world with beauty and agape — intense romantic love.. too. the eye that sees what isn't there. The grebe attaches its floating nest to a single strand of reed to keep it from washing away in the current.. I've. a Zen intuitive eye. relax and enter a universe of bright mirrors which..

Much of what is there escapes notice by the eye conditioned to see what is “useful. tenderness and sorrows of his world. unskilled and talentless as I am. Red. however.haiku the beauty. poetry. The wind knows. Poetry often carries within it the holograms of subtle allusions which only the most sensitive translations can begin to reveal.. “I've worn out my body in journeys as aimless as the winds and clouds. Basho writes.” Near the end of his letter. It is the same with seeing and making images.and so in the end. I give myself wholly to this one concern. —BASHO. Heartlessly indifferent to time. The promise of early chill. red is the sun. and expended my feelings on flowers and birds. I am awestruck To hear a cricket singing Underneath the dark cavity Of an old helmet. The Narrow Road to the Far North (Penguin) ..

IN SIGHT OF SENSIBILITY 'In looking at an object we reach out for it. the necessary housekeeping which we all must endure. grabbed my camera. We we must fall a lot to see this world in its ravishing beauty. aimed my camera and watched transfixed at the dawn light flaming behind the silhouette of the rock.' —RUDOLPH ARNHEIM I give myself every day to learning how to see. Once I was traveling through Utah and had stopped in the now bustling town of Moab. my music. The sky was beginning to light up in a curious way. I was up in a second. trace their borders. catch them. When I fire my camera. Thus a tangible bridge is established between the observer and the observed thing. I arrived at the formation called Balanced Rock just as the sky came on fire. scan their surfaces. ran towards the rock. is it I who sees. seeking images unseen and buried and immersed in my unconscious? To see. That is the beginning of my poetry. Laura Sewall quotes William Blake: “Let the world of rationalization and of the senses be consumed in the fires of imagination. jumped into my car. It is an eminently active occupation. and careened down the road to the Park entrance. I saw nothing anyone couldn't have seen. my work with images. go out to the distant places where things are found. I ran to the motel. early thinkers describe the process of vision correspondingly. close to Arches National Park. With an invisible finger we move through the space around us. The falls are part of the learning process. asserts that the gentle fire that warms the human body flows out through the eyes in a smooth and dense stream of light. I went out for a walk very early that morning and had a sudden flash of instinct or unconscious calling. tripped on a low fence and fell hard. let it taste again Infinity. What has imagination to do with seeing? Our imaginations free us from the tedium of daily chores. It simply took quick action to capture the fleeting fiery dawn. explore their texture. you must free yourself as a child would who falls off a bike over and over until it attains a certain balance and wheels freely away. .” Sewall goes on to write about wrapping her imagination around a near quarter moon. in his Timaeus. touch them. Impressed by this experienced. A soft reddish light filled the dawn sky. At the beginning of her chapter titled “Imagine This” in Sight and Sensibility. Plato. “ that it shimmers behind everything we do. or is it my deepest imagination playing with fire. I jumped out of the car. a unique capacity of the mind and the “deepest voice of the soul. She says that imagination is a mode of consciousness. For example. and over this bridge the impulses of light that emanate from the object travel to the eyes and thereby to the soul. Free the eternal soul.

We discard much of the beauty in life because it occurs in unlikely places. Freed from constraints of early conditioning." But what is that essence? Did Aristotle imagine that his eyes were deceiving him? It is always the essence which we seek? In his diary. The power of wildness. According to Arnheim Aristotle conceives of the "universal character " of an object "directly perceived in it as its essence rather than indirectly collected through the search of common elements in the various specimens of a species or genus. or give glory to. hurling away constraints may lead. which I excavate from among ideas and images found in Japanese culture and in the work of abstract artists anywhere. It required an effort to maintain the feeling. We create our visual world with our malleable brains if we dare to use them in seemingly irrational or dangerous ways. or invent.. in the beginning. any part of such a landscape. So obvious an idea is not so easy to achieve. mind-set and fear of the new. and I felt that it was only while under it that one could draw.There's a wild side to seeing. art critic John Ruskin (1819-1900) writes of a simple scene. it was poetry while it lasted. unfettered imagination. It is well to swim hard and often in these uncharted waters until you float comfortably under benevolent skies. . “I looked at it with the possession-taking grasp of the imagination—the true one..” The art of seeing begins with discovery of beauty in the commonplace. and I felt a charm in every vine tendril that hung over them. to a kind of chaos. it gilded all the dead walls. any artwork has the power to invest the inquiring eye and mind with a startling and eventually very pleasing taste.

We are on the verge of a visual revolution brought on by the emergence of digital photography and digital image programs such as Adobe Photoshop. Using Adobe Photoshop. A few days later. Hundreds of people can talk for one who . It has no censor built in. The computer sees anew. A display of orange flowers. It has a formidable power still in its infancy. new power to reveal what our conscious minds censor or obliterate. I love sunflowers because they speak to me of light's mysteries and shed a cheerful glow on the world. I take it into ‘curves' and play. catches my eye. intensify the color. although I view the new digital technology as an alchemist's stone which reveals what ‘isn't there. The orange display catches our eyes. I sharpen it. I cannot truly see it on the computer screen immediately. Suddenly the image jumps into life. The owners pleasantly agree to my photographing their displays.' The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something and tell what it saw in a plain way. newly revealed contrasting colors sharply define the elegant arabesques which my cerebral eye did not see then or now. I must manipulate the image in odd ways and coax it to reveal itself. I think. that I don't consciously see as much as I think I see. The flowers are wrapped in white paper which makes arabesque-like patterns. add a bit of brightness and contrast. I photograph the display rather casually. These markets are filled with visual banquets of flowers. I had observed this now intensely curvaceous asymmetrical composition when I was making the photograph with my inner or unconscious intuitive eye.SEEING WHAT ISN’T THERE I walk through the flower market on 28th street off Sixth Avenue and study the displays. The computer programs give us a sudden. Even when my inner eye sees certain images and triggers the camera. and walk on. I don't know their name. The effect on our vision cannot be predicted. For fun. I am in my studio with a young student intern studying the images from the flower market on one of my computers. I am struck by the sudden knowledge. but it looks rather uninteresting.

it is well to stop the lens down to f:16 or f:22. this Day in July. the camera fires. very fast. The lens enables me to photograph deep in the heart of flowers if I wish. and in a fraction of a second. macro lens. The technique sounds simple. buzzing quietly about their tasks. Once in very close to where you want to be. You must take the lens off the autofocus mode and focus by hand. to attain sharpness where desired. jitters. not rotate the lens. greeting card images of flowers that I'm after. but thousands can think for one who can see. postcard. It is about seeing without restraint. I go to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to photograph more flowers. at intense magnification. suddenly. It isn't calendar. without volition.can think. all in one. their spirits veiled in the chiaroscuro of light and color. since the slightest movement is magnified at close range. Sunday. it (the camera) fires. It is all about seeing. see! Then. and developing the technique to execute your vision with your camera. seeing what is almost invisible to the naked eye. This will require that you have a flash in the camera or an external flash such as my Canon speedlite 550EX. I expected few flowers in bloom in the midsummer heat. you maneuver the camera with tiny movements until the image in the finder speaks to you and. wings covered with yellow pollen. Instead. Waiting for the wind to stop. I am greeted with a profusion of brilliantly colored flowers from giant lotuses in the pond in front of the conservatory to lavish displays of lilies and many more. mysteries unseen and beauty unfolding. I spot a large bee on a lily and move in very close. everything moves. At close range with the macro. My tool of choice is a 100 mm. but it is difficult to execute. I will seek the hidden heart of the flowers. prophecy and religion. To see clearly is poetry. you must move the camera. throwing the composition out of kilter. like a samurai warrior wielding his sword in a split second. A number of times my finger on the shutter at the moment of release pushes the camera slightly. Since depth of field diminishes rapidly the nearer you get to the subject. Vision: The art of seeing the invisible. I must work on this. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden. — JOHN RUSKIN On the next day. —JONATHAN SWIFT . Bees abound. shakes. is a revelation. I must swoop in. for your hand to steady.

chiaroscuro. They willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets. What I saw with my inner eye when on the bridge. An array of hidden colors appear like magic in the seemingly monotonous bluish sky hung with misty clouds. the opposite of the closeup flower photography. the spider web like thrust of girders make ikebana-like patterns of asymmetry The girders are flung high and wide around me. I hear autos buzzing beneath me. A subway train roars past. After forty or more years of making images with cameras. it starts there too . Spectral sunlight winks in and out between the massive girders which support the bridge along with a network of cables. and unexpected colors. The buck not only stops at their desks.BRIDGE WORKS Training vision is a lifelong task. willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise. Early in the morning one day. they groan as they brace this immense structure. I walk across the new pedestrian and biker's path on the Williamsburg Bridge in Manhattan. I am busy seeing on a large scale. The resulting images become fodder for a series of joined canvases and psychedelic looking images which I make into dazzling patterns of light. I begin to truly see. and what I discovered by allowing my inner eye and a bit of chaotic ‘action painting' to arrange on the computer surprised and pleased me. and attempting to re-invent your visual world that you grow and see. It is only by taking the greatest risks. Against the light. to see more and more of what isn't there. Entrepreneurs are risk takers. avoiding self censorship.

The sought after place or thing is shrouded in mysteries. or doing business. The gift of vision is secured by audaciously setting out into the unknown. to Goldsworthy. If we don't dare the unknown. unseen because we have learned to take it for granted. filled with turbulent pitfalls that sadden us. Whether making images. most days I don't even get close. or Livingston seeking the source of the Nile in unexplored Africa. By surviving in those seas we awaken to a sky filled with a flaming dawn and we see. The ahhh! of beholding is gone. So it is with our normal vision of the world around us. one which deprives us of much of the beauty which can enrich our lives.— VICTOR KIAM We are all entrepreneurs in this life. is fodder for his revelations of the unseen beauty in nature. Picture postcards rarely carry surprises or awakenings. icicles and other natural flotsam and jetsam often last for a few days or less. light playing across cloud castles—there is no end. willy nilly. That is good. A COLLABORATION WITH NATURE Andy Goldsworthy. We toss about like shipwrecked sailors in a small boat on an immense sea with no horizon in sight. a bee in the heart of a flower. leaves. The gift of sight is precious.. stalks. learning to see anew leads to success. trying to see what isn't there. The quest for vision is much like daring feats of adventure. These things are part of a transient process that I cannot understand unless my touch is also transient—only in this way can the cycle remain unbroken and the process be complete. flowers. in his book Andy Goldsworthy writes “At its most successful my ‘touch' looks into the heart of nature. We admire the image or we ignore it. Albert Einstein put it this way: . the success of the brave and audacious. like Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic alone. You must work for it. We do not have to travel across the country or jet to another continent to discover unexpected wonders. The commonplace. we create a shallow life. He records the sculptures with a camera.” His outdoor sculptures made with stones. with no maps to go by. sudden revelations—colored lights reflected on the streets during rain.

But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books.a mysterious order which it does not comprehend. When there is an object of thought in the mind. Zen Master Takuan Soho says: The Existent Mind is the same as the Confused Mind and is literally read as the “mind that exists. Our open eyes gatherer quintillions of photons every minute. In The Unfettered Mind (Kodansha). They are not windows. and time was not a universal clock—his concept of the spacetime continuum.. they grieved it on its way. We glory in these wondrous visions. but only dimly suspects. than the Hubble Space Telescope. or daydreaming. Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight. We try to detach ourselves from daily tedium and open our eyes like children. The rewards are beyond measure. No-Mind or Right Mind wanders freely to view what “is not there. Einstein's Relativity Theory revealed new world in which the speed of light could not be surpassed. They are trained to work at our daily tasks. Scuba techniques revealed the surprising rainbows of wonders beneath the surface of the sea to our eyes and brains that had no pre-conditioning. genius or no. It does not know who or how. discrimination and thoughts will arise. not to reveal the hidden world around us.” It is the mind that thinks in one direction. a thousand. Each of us is that happy child to whom all of creation from the earth to the starry universe awaits recognition. Learn to love the gifts of light and enlightenment.” It's like hallucinations. to penetrate the veil. Each of us. We relax our eyes and take in everything. thousand visions go unnoticed. like a beginner a scuba diving overcoming fear of drowning. too late. It is called No-Mind when the mind has neither discriminations nor thought but wanders about the entire body and extends throughout the entire self. Such a myriad of riches must be organized. or even more so . The child knows that someone must have written these books. It neither congeals nor fixes itself in one place. We are like a little child entering a huge library. This statement by Takuan is a clue to learning how to see.The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. Let us dive deep into the ‘sea' on firm land and begin to see as children again.” First we need to understand that our eyes are as miraculous. It takes constant practice. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. It's necessary to be overwhelmed now and then. We see everything.. The No-Mind is the same as the Right Mind. And learn. regardless of subject. Do not go gentle into that good night . is capable of seeing beyond the veil of self imposed or peer imposed “reality. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. and therefore censored nothing. Thus it is known as the Existent Mind. Our eyes and our brains have been marvelously trained by evolution to do just this. He saw into the hidden workings of the universe. but we hide most of what we see behind a veil in order to avoid being overwhelmed. while all around us.

researchers or mystics. Turner spoke of light devouring the whole visible world. in About Looking says. wildly impressionistic at a time (mid-eighteenth century) when painting was mostly realism. To see like Turner. To paint The Snowstorm. We stare out at the world . I was lashed for four hours. Berger relates that Turner remarked.I got sailors to lash me to the mast to observe it. Turner's sea paintings. “.” It was a brave act. see beyond the surface of things... The sea paintings carry within them colors and shapes rarely seen at sea or anywhere. we must abandon safe harbors in the mind.. although we can learn to see many of these enchanting displays of light and color.— DYLAN THOMAS . and I did not expect to escape. Do Not Go Gentle into That Dark Night LIGHT DEVOURS THE WORLD John Berger. freed of much conditioned restraint. and dare to believe that our own new vision is paramount. Our newly innocent eyes. We discard tradition.. but I felt bound to record it if I did. show that he dared to see and paint in a new way. but the act of truly seeing the world is equally brave. ignore the opinions of others whether our peers. “Writing about a late painting called The Angel Standing in the Sun .

Later. the eloquent lines of the wires and cables. Far below. These are giant harps. the sun peers out from scuddng clouds. cables. I see the intricacies of design wrought in the girders. and subway trains. and unveil such ravishing beauty and resplendent natural wonders as would make an emperor envious. Overhead. elegant constructs of steel and wire. in their endless varieties. and roaring subway trains. What is there to see? Flowers are a universe unto themselves. For a time my work focuses on flowers and bridges in Manhattan. the blue waters reflect the sun. patterns and designs hidden in these seemingly somber structures. FLOWERS & BRIDGES The world surprises me every day. I discover myriad colors. singing a world of ethnic peoples together. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge with its spider work of cables or the cantilevered Williamsburg Bridge and study the wires. working with Photoshop. Bridges. flung across the waterways. bringing. You must look hard. towers. . are equally extraordinary. rumbling traffic. autos. and their myriad interactions designed to sustain trucks. girders. colors. The bridges sing a syncopated off key tune of creaking girders. I sight through my camera and construct the raw materials of my digital painter's painter's palette. What I see or do not see. and shapes.with our inner eyes. shapes. gigantic in relation to flowers. my unconscious instinctive mind records in the camera.

I see what I couldn't see. I want them to see it whether they want to or not. displaying huge stamens and pistils. Our perceptions. to my eye.” said Steiglitz. sizes and shapes. One Hundred Flowers. “O'keeffe let herself be seen. and for a woman that was too remarkable. (Knopf/Callaway) In 1927. My perception. diverse means of viewing the world. They swim around our unconscious like schools of rainbow colored fish. People simply had not seen flowers closeup. Most people in the city rush around so. I can trust it and allow the camera to record what. when the images are downloaded into the computer. the photographer and gallery owner Steiglitz cautioned her against exhibiting them. I see what I am used to seeing. They were overwhelming. isn't there. gave herself like a flower.VISION & PERCEPTION “When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it. O'Keeffe's her large canvases of flowers seen closeup shocked and scandalized the public and the critics. Her avante. they have no time to look at a flower. Some found them to be to sensual and erotic. Our lifelong work consists of allowing these swarms of . I want to give that world to someone else. Later. “it’s your world for the moment. I cannot see what it sees at that moment. like our dreams.” —GEORGIA O’KEEFFE. when I “develop” them in Photoshop. my unconscious. intuitive vision or no-mind sees something else. cupping her hand and holding it closer to her face. When I stare through my camera viewfinder and carefully view the scene with my normal mind.garde husband.” she said. Perception and seeing are two distinct. come in many colors.

to unveil themselves in the light. like a Titan's garden filled with luxuriant brilliant weeds and gaudy flowers. order shimmers through and we are comforted.. Nothing is banned. miraculous world around us. Such vision never diminishes.perceptions to surface. Entangled among the exuberant growth and ravishing colors we find single images which delight us with their quiet and repose. of seeing the ever changing. . Wisdom entails sifting all experience through an uncensored sieve of unconscious desires and playful freedom. In the midst of wildness. This is the beginning of wisdom. in the midst of chaos. It only grows wilder and more colorful.

Each color is characteristic of a distinct wavelength. You are undoubtedly familiar with some of the different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. BIV. In this sense. Dispersion of visible light produces the colors red (R). Since this narrow band of wavelengths is the means by which humans see. when light of that particular wavelength strikes the retina of our eye. we are referring to visible light. we perceive that specific color sensation. a small spectrum of the range of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. Though electromagnetic waves exist in a vast range of wavelengths. blue (B). This continuous range of frequencies is known as the electromagnetic spectrum. Each individual wavelength within the spectrum of visible light wavelengths is representative of a particular color. The visible . we refer to it as the visible light spectrum. indigo (I). The red wavelengths of light are the longer wavelengths and the violet wavelengths of light are the shorter wavelengths. visible light is dispersed upon passage through a prism. You may read the following explanation if you wish or go on. yellow (Y). The entire range of the spectrum is often broken into specific regions. lower frequency regions are located on the far left of the spectrum and the shorter wavelength. orange (O). Normally when we use the term "light. green (G). That is. our eyes are sensitive to only a very narrow band. and violet (V). Electromagnetic waves exist with an enormous range of frequencies. The separation of visible light into its different colors is known as dispersion. Between red and violet. The visible light region is the very narrow band of wavelengths located to the right of the infrared region and to the left of the ultraviolet region. The diagram below depicts the electromagnetic spectrum and its various regions. there is a continuous range or spectrum of wavelengths. Colors that we do not see are visible to other creatures on this earth.ADDENDUM: THE VISIBLE SPECTRUM We see only a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is because of this that visible light is sometimes referred to as ROY G." we are referring to a type of electromagnetic wave which stimulates the retina of our eyes. for these reasons. Isaac Newton showed that light shining through a prism will be separated into its different wavelengths and will thus show the various colors that visible light is comprised of. The longer wavelength. higher frequency regions are on the far right. Two very narrow regions with the spectrum are the visible light region and the X-ray region. The subdividing of the entire spectrum into smaller spectra is done mostly on the basis of how each region of electromagnetic waves interacts with matter. and different wavelengths of light waves will bend varying amounts upon passage through a prism.

but rather the combination of all the colors of the visible light spectrum. black is not actually a color. EPILOGUE . Technically speaking. We dance with light to the farthest reaches of human perception and understanding. white is not a color at all. Once more. then none of the wavelengths would lead to the appearance of black.com Shall we dance? In Zen & the Art of Archery . We use our intuitive no-mind and Zen like clairvoyance.light spectrum is shown in the diagram below when all the wavelengths of the visible light spectrum strike your eye at the same time. —physicsclassroom. We see all of the invisible spectrum of light which daily dances through our lives. it means that there are no wavelengths of visible light striking your eye as you sight at the surroundings. We see what is not there. Technically speaking. The visible and invisible rainbows of the electromagnetic spectrum are our lives. Thus. So when you are in a room with no lights and everything around you appears black. author Herrigel speaks of his master constantly referring to archery as a dance. visible light is sometimes referred to as white light. white is perceived. black is merely the absence of the wavelengths of the visible light spectrum. The archer dances his shots. Light is the greatest dancer. If all the wavelengths of the visible light spectrum give the appearance of white.

and the will to make the desert flower. The body. I believe every great enterprise. success or failure. the greatest creativity. or back down the mountain. The best. "Every knock is a boost. Our growth and perception never ends. enjoy the view! The next step must be to another. must rest from other necessary and tiresome labors unrelated to growth and creating. Once a challenging peak is climbed. beginning again." So it is. tedium overtakes the climber in pursuit of meaning and creative growth. A mountain climber trapped above twenty to twenty-five thousand feet or higher must come down for oxygen soon or deteriorate and die. higher peak. He or she. AUDACE! . hard work. Each new peak we attain reveals views of other heretofore hidden heights. It's too easy to begin an enterprise with innocent enthusiasm and passion. Often. when the future beckons tantalizingly and everything is possible. Rest and recuperation is needed before another attempt is possible. every campaign to acquire new knowledge. has a curve of accomplishment: the beginning. like the brain feeds upon itself. especially if it knocks us up and away from our preconceptions. we undergo a rite of passage. Like life itself. self-examination. we encounter a pivotal time. having reached a peak. Perhaps "desert" is simply a staging ground. Moses spent forty years in the desert and never reached the promised land. the winding and endless road to knowledge is our home. At certain periods in our creative lives.AD ASTRA (Art is Worth Dying For) I believe we go through an endless series of births and rebirths during our tenure and growth on this earth. A jazz singer on FM radio the other day sang a refrain. youthfulness in ideas and in the work itself is everything . a metaphor for the next great endeavour. most sanguine and felicitous parts of novels and movies often occur in the first half when striving is all.

die for it. ideas won't wait. Something must be done about them. When the idea is new. — Lincoln's Second Annual Message to Congress. Ideas won't keep. Life demands action. We must. We must send them roaming. "disenthrall ourselves" and move on to fresh. audace. Forward. audace" cried de Gaulle. We must disenthrall ourselves.The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. and we must rise with the occasion. cold harness of tasks better left to career administrators. Shed it! We must each take our inspired and abundant creative talent and free it from the itchy. its custodians have fervor and live for it. "Audace. always forward. so we must think anew. The workaday "nitty gritty" conspires to shackle our talents. LIGHT THE SKY The vitality of thoughts is in adventure. . We must act forcefully before the routine and tedium of endless petty details despoil our dreams and defeat our ends. and act anew. and if need be. in Lincoln's words. The occasion is piled high with difficulty. As our case is new. fecund fields where new ideas may glisten in the dawn of new endeavors like early morning dew on flowers and grass. and then we shall save our country.

Shouldn't we spend our time working on projects that illuminate the darkness. a ghostly apparition in an unblinking cosmos—that here on this speck of green earth whirling round a small sun. S. indeed demand.—ALFRED NORTH WHITEHEAD Everyone of us is an untapped reservoir of becoming." Isn't that the purpose of all of art and creation. Power and Magic In it. We must unleash our God given extraordinary abilities and free them to race across the sky like the Sun God's fiery steeds. such aspirations. great ambitions crave great projects. "We read to know we are not alone. We set out. Great talent. we wither in a stale environment where bean counters rule and dreams die slowly and painfully. that contain great challenges and require facilities to implement them on a grand and worthy scale. soul wrenching awareness of the cascading beauty and symbolism of life itself? Whatever you can or want to do -Begin it! Boldness has genius. which. smothers the world of new ideas and visions? Shouldn't we work on enterprises that wash away gloom and give birth to a new. If not. free will. -. to make us know that? To make us know that placed here willy-nilly on this spinning globe that sometimes seems like the Sea of Fertility on the moon—a nihilistic wasteland. color and beauty. talent. Anthony Hopkins playing C. like a blanket of oily soot. Lewis speaks an idea garnered from a student. and we are not alone ? . we have purpose. great energy. seek and find venues that need. aflame with light.GOETHE WE ARE NOT ALONE In the movie Shadowlands.

our destinations are our inspiration. “What can the vintner buy one half so precious as what he sells?" We are fortune's vintners pressing dreams from dew covered grapes. to dance. We are all poets at heart. to fly on wings of thought to far reaches of the planet and to the ends of the universe. Always the journey. We were born to inhabit and create on a planet so fair and beautiful that "heaven" is but a solipsism and a mockery of Paradise here and now The poet begins where the man ends. we read of Odysseus. —ORTEGA Y GASSET. What pleasure compares to a new creative challenge. “What can the vintner buy one half so precious as what he sells?" We are fortune's vintners pressing dreams from dew covered . to sally forth into the universes of thought and action. in the offices of bureaucrats. our efforts our lives. but as the fires of volcanoes renew the earth. A Modern Sequel . not crawl. Without passion we create grey slag heaps of time worn existence.Enjoy life? Of course! We are born to sing. never the end. THE WINE OF PASSION We read in Omar Khayyum's poem The Rubiyat . dreams that make life real. Very little of value may be found between. The Dehumanization of Art We read in Omar Khayyum's poem The Rubiyat . love and creation. In Nikos Kazantzakis's great poem “ The Odyssey. "My voyages are my Ithaca. in the cellars of misers and bean counters. not grunt. the sole elements that conspire to make us more than slouching beasts. to the renewal of youthful dreams. moral and cultural values. We must protect the God given flame of inspiration ere it flickers out in the temples of money changers." We work to display the joy of what we create each day and each day is our reward. Our dreams arise from inspiration. The man's lot is to live his human life. to setting off on another voyage into the unknown? Odyssus set sail again in search of new worlds after he regained his kingdom Ithaca. or sadly. We are born to fly. Passion and joy rule our lives. to crawl. the poet's to invent what is non-existent. not recklessly.

the sole elements that conspire to make us more than slouching beasts. in the offices of bureaucrats. but as the fires of volcanoes renew the earth. The Dehumanization of Art LONG AND HARD ARE THE SKY ROADS Our creative desires and endeavors must not be reduced to shopping malls of clever exhibits and boutiques. We seek the . Our dreams arise from inspiration. moral and cultural values. in the cellars of misers and bean counters. We were born to inhabit and create on a planet so fair and beautiful that "heaven" is but a solipsism and a mockery of Paradise here and now The poet begins where the man ends. dreams that make life real. love and creation. Without passion we create grey slag heaps of time worn existence. Passion and joy rule our lives. We are all poets at heart. the poet's to invent what is non-existent. The man's lot is to live his human life.grapes. —ORTEGA Y GASSET. We must protect the God given flame of inspiration ere it flickers out in the temples of money changers. but rise to snow peaked mountains towering into the next world. not recklessly.

we must find our way back to that exuberant dawn of innocence and spiritual dignity. the paintings of Van Gogh. I often encounter this dawn roaming the earth into "primitive" places. It is not a viewer. I add the caveat that art is . Basquiat. concrete and glass. see-er or seeker creates and grows because he or she is creation itself. I do not ignore the appalling poverty and misery found in many undeveloped and developing countries. or an audience that must be enlightened. de Kooning. bewildered or chastened. explored and made real. a fiery grace that lights the world. to welcome discoveries. Matisse. music that comes from Bach in the B minor Mass or from the dying Schubert in the late piano sonatas. No power must come between that holy gift and the expression of it for the joy of mankind. the art of music and dance. the sound of wind and wave and rain. it is not made for any decreed purpose. flaming nebulae millions of light years away. but hard and long are the sky roads and many are those who would tame the spirits that ride with the chariot of the sun god. pinnacles and arches in the Southwest. the sculpture of Moore. It is the wonderful kindness. ART MAKES US MORE HUMAN We stand measured by the breadth of our expanding souls. Removed from our close contact with the earth. Such enterprises can be found. however new and bold. What else compares with the experience of art itself? All of art. The true artist.unknown. to shed light. our minds that will not age unless left idle. wisdom and hospitality of so many peoples that I speak of. it is the artist himself or herself who must discern what really matters. places where human beings embrace mother Gaea with innocence and praise her. From modesty comes grace. the uncanny beauty of worlds in collision. surrounded by paved roads. our hearts filled with the sheer exuberance of liberation—liberation of our uncanny abilities to grow and flower in the commonplace wastelands of over civilized citified cultures. they are . sculpture and science. We embrace the human ability to rise to an occasion. the seeker of the way of art. I believe the sometimes hidden purpose of all art is to raise the level of the viewer's perceptions. to make life worthwhile. the grand architectonic "musical" forms of canyons. Brancusi or Rodin. must never bow to the whiplash of bureaucracy or cries for what is politically correct. The artist.

—lARIA MITCHELL Yes to that hymn. when trees suddenly bud and flowers bloom out of . like a speeding freight train is difficult to stop and makes a great screeching and squawking when slowed. to see. the Muslims. yes to the creative mind. SPRINGTIME IN DECEMBER Every formula which express a law of nature is a hymn to God. the Jews. Hard it is to wrench oneself from the turmoil of self-created "necessary" mundane projects whose momentum. or anyone's search for religious meaning in symbols or saints. forever hastening to those places which capture our hearts. launch. sing to our souls and reward us with innocence. Better to leave the dilapidated train. to touch. the Buddhists. and yes to going forward! I make no difference between the God of the Christians. to discover that we are not alone. fly to the places and palaces we dream of.one and the same. rocket off. We will come to know again the joyful springtime that comes unexpected and radiant late in autumn or dead of winter. to hear. All of art and science beckons to human beings to look.

energy which is eternal delight in Blake's words. Our nascent light must not set in darkening shadows of discontent. daring and beautiful. There is no end to energy. a labor fit for Hercules. October is the fallen leaf. I am a lover and a fool. I will sing of joy. then we must and shall employ it for the good of the earth insofar as we are capable of understanding that good. We were born to inhabit this halcyon paradise of earth while we live (living means creating. Great deeds begin with a multitude of tedious details which may seem to deny the light of creation from rising each morning like the sun. Prometheus. an unlicensed oracle. Then we may give thanks and praise and rejoice in the knowledge that we are forever young. We must avoid . an insolent mouthpiece for Gaea. If we be favored by the gods with energy. but it is also a horizon more clearly seen.season. —HAL BORLAND . else it is a lesser life) to strive and seek a distant shore unmapped. a cracked bell. or be made unbearable by puerile and punitive endeavors. uncharted and unbounded. Aphrodite or Apollo in a flourishing civilization where greed and lust for power often overshadow humanity's long journey to the stars. It is the distant hills once more in sight and the enduring constellations above them once again. Autumn is for Understanding FOR THE HAPPY FEW (OR MANY) We all may share the blessed lifelong burden of creating and loving.

Art is the religion of the spirit and the religion of the deepest unconscious striving of the fecund but tip of evolution. seekers and seers who fiercely create and bring these shattering and seductive visions to light shall be as prophets of old. WHO WILL STAND? We happy see-ers. for the happy few. We bring to Gaea (and Gaea is God and earth and holy) all that she is and wants to be and we cannot help ourselves. Nothing else or less will do. in Stendahl's words. the burgeoning glory of an ever fecund. We toil because we must. brained and blessed to do Gaea's great bidding.” said Alfred North Whitehead. and all the sons of God shouted for joy? . green and gratifying earth. We toil to give form and space and song to what has not been seen enough before. We were born. ever flabbergasting. Art is evolutions' way of knowing herself.. glorious.When the morning stars sang together. if thou hast understanding..making godlike judgements as to what is good. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare. the thrice blessed godly virtue of questioning. It is the business of the future to be dangerous. ever new. We work. Who will or can stand with the Lord in his place and listen to his words? I neither mock nor defile any religion nor use the cantos of praise other than with respect and joy for spiritual enlightenment. We toil for the coming happy many who seek what we seek. "blind" and dreaded.

Let your light so shine before men.. Neither do men light a candle. Moslem. . A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. audacity. a mighty work which make this planet a vaulted heaven where mortals convene and converse with gods. Father. Shinto. the legions of creativity. a great jazz in the night. that they may see your good works. Job XXXVIII Open the gates for we are as sounding brass. The sermon on the mount* goes unheeded. Jew. and put it under a bushel. a tintinnabulation of ringing bells to fill the mountain steeps with echoes of glory. the teachings remain. the voice in the wilderness soon forgotten. *Ye are the light of the world. but on a candlestick. love and compassion. jubilantly. We must follow our hearts no matter where.THE BIBLE . inspiration and courage we do the bidding of gods and spirits. Gaea's legions. Christian. THE SERMON OF CREATION Is not all of art and science part of that great sermon? Is not the act of creating art the same act of reverence as lighting a candle? Isn't a human being born to create those things which glorify the Father whether He or She be Buddhist. and it give light unto all that are in the house. joyfully. the army of the Lord of hosts. and glorify your Father which is in heaven..-. With zeal.

the light of God. as a sky flowering lightning and rainbows. from the soul. Starry eyed. to celebrate the earth. . I witness the seemingly endless striving of fecund humanity to break the shackles of earthbound tedium. the Zen monk's traditional shakuhachi flute meditations or any other glorious religious music celebrates the light. the mist shrouded lighthouse whose radiant beams illuminate a thousand. CREATION'S STARRY LIGHTHOUSE A wanderer on this earth. It is sometimes hard to keep my eye on the holy beacon of creative enrichment. the light that is God. Bach. to know. thousand deadly reefs and shoals in a world often gone mad. to understand. Bach's music. Art which comes from the heart. no dry fugue maker.worshipper of Mother Earth or earth spirits? Bach loved the Father as he loved life itself.. was as passionate as a water lily in the dawn. to find. as the Buddhist monk loves the Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths. shamans. Each new challenge begins in innocence. filled with zeal and energy. to seek. we undertake to make a world more fit for humanity's great mission. from the spirit and from the love of life is holy. to make a world where art and love blossom like cactus flowers in vast deserts of ignorance. discovery and enlightenment. We stand together with artists and scientists.

memento mori of that place from which we came. having known. And always I shall feel time ravel thin about me. Hath had elsewhere its setting. Our gifts.. the dregs of futile toil. make beautiful solace for a moment of rapture. rotting fruit. and my soul stir to the rhythm of the daily round.WORDSWORTH . of glory in the flower .. Our labors flower and bear fruits in their season. smothering sarcophaguses filled with overripe." The entire Ode spirals down to us like a glittering nebulae. a star swathed cradle of innocence. he saw shadows. not measured out like cold coins or lifeless currency.preachers and prophets. yield love potions we toast to the glory of the earth. In his monumental poem. The fruit of our endeavors. life will not press so close. like fragrant wildflowers. We stand beside all who seek to know. -. Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting: The Soul that rises with us. — EUNICE TIETJENS . whose lives become voyages. And not in utter nakedness. But trailing clouds of glory do we come From God. For once I stood In the white windy presence of eternity. And cometh from afar: Nor in entire forgetfulness. And time will come close about me. Wordsworth bemoaned the seeming loss of his own innocence. we shape the world we inhabit. Ode on Intimations of Immortality. the radiant genesis of glory. a quasar billions of light years away shedding the radiance of a giant collapsing star. voyages into the unknown. for we contain in our mortal bodies the whirling troposphere of lightning and great storms.. shades of the prison house closing in.. The art's the thing. Yet. who is our home. his great lament " Though nothing can bring back the hour/Of splendour in the grass. voyages away from stuffy. our life's star. We carry our heads high in the myriad constellations of glittering stars.

Antony and Cleopatra . one head older than creation. the cycles of the seasons of art that bestow everlasting youth. One head eternally young. the enigmatic. the adoration of power and money. Only constant change and growth fuel the engine of creating the new. conquerors or emperors. but as naifs. nor custom stale/Her infinite variety. misbegotten misinterpretation of the meaning of life. innocent and filled with joy at what we do not know yet yearn to know. the tinsel worship of celebrities. growing and creating. "success" imprisons us in a grey claustrophobic. the glory of the earth.. never from the adulation of media." --SHAKESPEARE ..she makes hungry where most she satisfies.SUCCESS HAS TWO FACES "Success" that duplicitous Janus-like goddess. We attain our births and rebirths. Not as solons in the great courts of kings. and the seemingly dangerous.. Ours is the earth and all that's in it.. defeats our aims. We will trail clouds of glory as long as we forbear yielding to money-grubbing temptations. Age cannot wither her. True success comes from our joy of learning. we are at play in fertile fields filled with spring freshets and flowers.

.he knows himself to be the master of his days. The absurd man says yes and his efforts will henceforth be unceasing. and it is essential to know the night. renew as do the elements and the seasons. man thinks yet he does not think. Suzuki said: Man is a thinking reed but his great works are done when he is not calculating and thinking. Indeed. starting over. the ocean. the foliage. he thinks like the green foliage shooting forth in the relaxing spring breeze. We are one with earth.. T.A THINKING REED A creative human being. like legendary Sisyphus. Then this is attained.. the stars. he thinks like the waves rolling on the ocean. Albert Camus wrote in The Myth of Sisyphus that “There is no sun without shadow. "Childlikeness" has to be restored with long years of training in the art of self-forgetfulness. In his introduction to Zen and the Art of Archery . only to watch it roll back down again. often must push a heavy rock up a steep mountain path to the top. writer and Zen philosopher D. He thinks like the showers coming down from the sky. happy in the knowledge that such efforts renew. he thinks like the stars illuminating the nightly heavens.”. he is the showers. seeking new visions. gaining mountain tops. . We begin anew each time.

We have but one overriding duty in life. It is Sunday in winter. into whirling butterflies and birds of paradise to float out into the great world beyond my small studio. if we are willing to burn for it. we will have it. that failure is his world. desertion. whirling and sparkling like the vast star studded hoop of our galaxy. which. and.IMMORTALITY OR BURN Therein "ends" this essay. They ask us to consider what our presence on this small green and lovely planet means. confront the perplexing mystery of life itself. Whatever blocks our way must be rent asunder. help define us as human beings. A cold blue sky over Manhattan turns slowly pink. The themes of this essay. Tomorrow I confront the daily exigencies of city life. A thousand. We must endure. These themes flaunt fields of eternal energy. the creative life with its thousand broken idols and masks. arts and crafts. —SAMUEL BECKETT . as Job endured the trials of the Lord. To be an artist is to fail as no other dares to fail. and to shrink from it. as the Red Sea parted for Moses. thousand lights glitter in the dusk. good housekeeping. for in the end. I must conspire to make illusive vagaries. its thousand fears and follies. rainbow spattered dreams. we were born to radiance. to shed light. eternal themes. to add music to the earth. to develop our powers to the utmost limits in order to be of use to others and to ourselves.

'tis not too late to seek a newer world. unseen. Come my friends. and the baths of all the western stars. passionate and intransigent things which can and will fulfill our dreams. We must freely and fruitfully undertake projects that involve great energies.... still untapped reservoirs of talent. for my purpose holds to sail beyond the sunset. for it will blow a fair wind. ... Go where the wind blows.. Perform as one who inspires others to go beyond their self imposed limits. Become as one who midwives and creates things yet unknown. unleash ourselves from petty ideas. housekeeping and clinging needs of those who must yet be inspired. unbind our limitless creative powers.Postscript: LIBERATE THE UNIVERSE WITHIN What should I or you or anyone do? Only those difficult. Seek and find a place in the sun that understands and strengthens far reaching vision and reinforces your inner search for deep.

—TENNYSON . Ulysses Copyright © Harvey Lloyd 2003 .

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