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

Without the ability to see the light with child-like innocence.999. the spirit of the earth. It cannot escape the “event horizon” of a black hole. We will examine the strange phenomenon of many artist's works that do not resemble the way we see the world. an animal. It can be warped by gravity. such as a great tree or a sculptural rock. It has been said that light is the face of God and/or the mind of God. or a significant part of a landscape. Let there be light. be it a person. I celebrate the art of true vision. we are rendered dumb and speechless. Without the light of the mind. And.” According to Einstein's Theory of Relativity. How that process works is a visit to a strange new land. (Star Trek fans know that “crossing a galaxy or galaxies is negotiable in six months in warp 9. The Old Testament Bible begins (Genesis: 1) with “And God said. LIGHTWORKS Light is the source of all vision. We must begin with training the eye to see “what isn't there.” When you look through the eyepiece of a camera. you may not be aware that you are using your “zoom” eye to see. time slows down. as you approach the speed of light. it can be a particle (photon) or a wave. Light behaves in strange ways. Light and its bizarre behavior is one of the great mysteries that still baffle physicists and mathematicians. no life can exist. we lose the greatest gift conferred on sapient beings. To truly see is to enhance one's life and make visible the hidden universe of wonders which surround us. Light gives vision. as has been written by scientists such as Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. for at the speed of light time stops. It is the key to becoming one in heart and spirit with the Gaena. holy light makes vision possible. You tend to focus on the main subject.”) Without light. You often do not . light is ageless. 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. Light.vision.

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

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

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

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

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

A world roaming traveler skims the surface too much. how can it permeate the universe without a beginning? We needn't answer questions of such metaphysical depth to see the light. over time. That is a beginning. Consider the visual mystery of a black hole. To some.professional look at these great works of antiquity. waves or sub-atomic particles arise spontaneously. 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 universe which emerges at random. There is a need to learn to see and to work in a vertical as well as a horizontal way. This implies a steady state universe. We can visit beloved places over and over. to penetrate deep down into the mystery and spiritual life of places and peoples.. this seems better than the Big Bang theory of . Around our familiar places. Is a black hole the wormhole(1) to other universes? Quantum physics speaks of fluctuations in the space-time continuum from which vibrations. 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. we can penetrate to the heart of things.

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

you must listen to a great rock band. 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. to circumvent or overcome our early conditioning. or are we? More likely our upbringing and our environment have mapped that which is “important” on our brains. digital world. Where. The actual process of seeing is performed by your brain rather than your eye. scientists find more information comes back to the LGN from various parts of the brain than go from it to the brain. Strangely. the information goes on to a way station.. Look again. they were painters. 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. Since there is sharpness of vision only at the fovea. a . How do you see what isn't there? What “isn't there” is the real world of wonder. The myriad photons of light strike the rods and cones which are wired to a complex “computer” in the retina. Preliminary processing of the visual information takes place here. Very little is known. The eyeball must constantly move.? Let us “waste” this energy because not to see is to be blind to the real meaning of life on a beautiful planet. You may be a photographer or artist and record what is there or you may be trying to see your world. First glance is only the beginning of the process of truly seeing. why waste this energy in a battle within ourselves to unmask the outside world. 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. and may imagine that we see everything sharp. Much of it is the ordinary. the LGN (lateral geniculate nuclesu) where it is sent to the primary visual cortex. Why not visit online the virtual realms of museums or museums themselves. Since it takes energy to see. in order to bring an entire scene into focus. We do this with a series of quick glances called saccades ( A rapid intermittent eye movement. We are surrounded by images in our technological. chaos and beauty that you do not yet see. Are Dubuffet's grotesque paintings of people real. As with music.) We are not conscious of this. you may ask. No matter you say. a tiny central zone of the eye. our daily fare. and on to other parts of the brain. or the host of books about artists of every period and see how artists and photographers view and have viewed our world. Start by educating your eye. The interior is dark and mysterious. The eye is no window! From the retina. Here we are being told what to see. as that which occurs when the eyes fix on one point after another in the visual field.

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

. The knowledge we have now is really only the beginning of an effort to understand the physiological basis of perception. All that is needed is the will to use the most powerful tool in our bodies. a story whose next stages are just coming into view. Why. 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. Each of us has the power to see in ways that few human beings have learned to see. whether with brush or camera. the human eye. 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 striate cortex is just the first of over a dozen separate visual areas. each of which maps the whole visual field.. of course. while walking past a field of wild flowers early in the morning. to penetrate the fog and miasma of lazy looking and wasted vision.. —DAVID MARR.. the magical tool which worships the light. 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.—ANNIE DILLARD . or do we humans have the ability to see beyond the constructs of early childhood and later conditioning. Do we want to? It may be forbidden fruit.beginning . Artists. see a great deal that is invisible to many others. but where's the harm.

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

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 galaxies. are beginning to harvest new clues to the origin and evolution of the universe's largest building blocks. bolstered by the largest ground-based telescopes around the world. The Hubble .ORIGINS Two of NASA's Great Observatories.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

just as how each of us uses our eyes is another matter.. He answered that he used words as well. 1760-1849). we are richer in opportunities than any rulers of the past. At seventy-three I learned a little about the real structure of nature. In this age of onrushing technology and unlimited travel opportunities.all I produced before the age of seventy is not worth taking into account. The night sky filled with constellations is a feast for the eyes. The banquet of the world is always on the table.and when I am a hundred and ten everything I do. Japan. There is no need to fast in the midst of viands beyond imagining. —HOKUSAI . How they were used. An artist. I would shudder and experience vertigo at the endless distances above me. 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. I beg those who live as long as I to see if I keep my word. He lived to eighty-nine in a time when that was very rare. Better to drown in the search for knowledge than to languish on barren shores of discontent and blindness. to learn and to see. and gazed up at the Milky Way.. A writer was once asked if he could imagine writing like Shakespeare. far forward away from all man made light.. if he or she would accomplish much.. JAMES MICHNER) I acclaim these lines of Hokusai.RICHER THAN EMPERORS OR KINGS . will be alive. .. Every one of us can attempt the same. ( The Manga . be it a dot or a line. It must have been sheer energy. 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.. The earth and the heavens flower for us daily. He changed his name many times as well. Wood block Artist. Nothing can stop us from seeing except the tired habits of mundane or aborted curiosity and striving.at ninety I shall penetrate the mystery of things. To see is to dine like a king or emperor. That's a great way to live. must be curious and unending in the quest for new visions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

passion. However. 2003. I took photographs of the installations in a somewhat shaken manner. There is a dark side to art. Now an then you need a good blow . You and I are those fiery furnaces. I went equipped with my Canon digital cameras to see and record the life of the flowers there. I went with a friend to visit Wave Hill. understanding and desire inflame our souls. They were too large. Dodging the sprinklers in the garden in front of the conservatory. lighthouses or blazing candelabra which illuminate some small part of the darkness. I tried to peer deep into the flowers. It was called Perfection/Impermanence: Contemporary Ikebana. I walked up to the man at the desk and asked him where the ikebana was to be found. SIGHT UNSEEN—MYSTERIOUS IKEBANA On July 6. love.playground of myths which inhabit our minds. to different from my mind set. I exhausted the subject for the moment. What we know of evil we cannot ever lightly accept. I used my macro lens and diffused strobe flash. just as there is a dark side to all of human nature. I never even noticed a giant explosion of shrubbery attached behind the rear porch. an estate and garden in the Bronx open to the public. flowers arranged asymmetrically in vases. from my love of delicate ikebana arrangements. We walked to an exhibition in the Glyndor Gallery located inside a red brick house. That was fine. He pointed to the rooms and said that was the contemporary ikebana. Soon. I could not yet see these things as ikebana. I expected to see the ikebana I loved. 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. What I saw when I walked inside took me by surprise and puzzled me. without shadows we could not comprehend the light.

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

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.

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

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

Reject: and let there be Only tree. 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. Getting no seed to sprout.Forget the tube of bark. Stripped of green root and leaf. Colors pour in and out: Here is a timeless structure wrought Like the candelabrum of pure thought. — STANLEY KUNITZ . Alliterative leaves. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

or radioactivity as in luminous paints. quasars. 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. This boost may be provided by many sources: electrical current as in florescent lights. chemical reactions as in Halloween light sticks and fire-flies. television screens and computer monitors. light emitting diodes. black holes and a hundred thousand more . ThinkQuest '99 Those paragraphs are like taking a run up a hill or mountainside. not an entire atom. luminescent light occurs at lower temperatures. neon light. supernovas. Therefore.Unlike incandescence. stars and planets. to name just a few examples. mercury-vapor street lights. when an electron jumps down to a lower energy level. —Discovering Light . It's as good a theory as any. it will release a specific amount of energy which becomes a photon. It turns out that electrons like to have energy at specific "energy levels. No physicist truly believes he or she knows what started the colossal. continued luminescence requires something to continuously give the electrons a boost to a higher energy level to keep the cycle going. perhaps infinite collection of galaxies. or light of a specific color. It's difficult. because it is produced when an electron releases some of its energy to electromagnetic radiation. but the view is enchanting and illuminating. star clusters." Thus.

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

—.” .. free of the constraints of nascent technology and tyrannical mind set.. descend And of the curveship lend a myth to God. wild. Against the traffic lights that skim thy swift Unfractioned idiom. Unto us lowliest. which is designed to record approximately what I see will do. O Sleepless as the river under thee. in the last few years. I am not interested in seeing the “reality” of these images. I experiment with the images in a boisterous. Prayer of pariah. and the lover’s cry. Pianist Alfred Brendel quotes the German romantic poet Novalis.. contrast. I work with my digital files like an action painter. the prairies’ dreaming sod. 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. The 11 plus megapixel camera creates huge 52.9 megabyte files for each image when decompressed... sometime sweep.. The digital image is my sketch.. My aim is to capture the play of clouds against the massive towers and myriad cables and wires. light and shade. Basquiat. Suddenly. The digital camera and digital programs free me to discover worlds of colors. even in Mozart. That is what my brain forces me to do. audacious and unruly way like Pollock.. abstractly.Oh harp and altar. I will down load these images into my computer and work with them in Adobe Photoshop. vividly recreating what is really there but cannot be seen. or de Kooning.'chaos' now and then. That is what the camera. —HART CRANE. of the fury fused (How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!) Terrific threshold of the prophet’s pledge. immaculate sigh of stars. That has nothing to do with the vast spectrum of electromagnetic radiation that plays invisibly all about me as I walk the bridge. “. Beading thy path—condensed eternity: And we have seen night lifted in thine arms. Vaulting the sea. can be seen shimmering through the veil of order. illuminations really. the Photoshop program my brush and paints..

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

Have you “flown” your eye? It is attached to your brain. and to other parts of your brain. From the retina. Right there at the retina. The computing power at your retina exceeds that of the most powerful supercomputers. 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. your “desktop” computer analyzes and censors much of the fireworks entering your eye. The eye is not a window. 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). also known as V1. You may jump ahead if desired. not to your skull. After further processing. the electrical impulses are sent through an electric cable containing over one million wires called axons. What you see isn't there. Your retina contains hundreds of millions neurons working in parallel. 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. Hubel . And that's just the beginning.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. It's a dreary illusion fostered by evolution and nurture. in Visual Intelligence. One LGN lies in the left hemisphere and the other lies in the right hemisphere. writes: The German physicist and physiologist Herman von Helmhotz (18211894) described vision as a process of unconscious inference: .

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

Monet. Learning to see with a camera is learning to see anywhere. The large (53. garbage out. wildly flamboyant canvases.” That should never stop us from making tens of thousands of “mistakes. The art of image transformation begin with a new vision of the world.” The well known computer adage goes. Hidden in chaos is a higher “order. As an artist. my eye/camera symbiosis gives me the vision of a painter who constructs from the raw material of nature his or her wildest fantasies. enables me to create images I have only imagined but never seen. at the cutting edge of digital technology. Suddenly. Today. We must learn as well to instantaneously recognize and discard cliche patterns which enthrall us with scenes resembling our past visions. or who subtly transforms realities. It comes from an eye that learns to instantaneously recognizes significant patterns and make strong compositions in the camera before clicking the shutter button. I can imagine what is there. we can paint our visions in the computer and print them. and I use the word playing in its most creative sense.DIGITAL CAMERA GIGABYTES Our new tools create the possibilities for discovering a new vision of the world. . “Garbage in. Matisse. Such visionaries as Van Gogh. First.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. O'Keefe and de Kooning imagined. We must take chances and seek aleatory or chance compositions. we must learn to see. Playing. discovered and painted their fantasies on richly colored.” seeds we continuously plant to await a bountiful harvest of beauty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and all the sons of God shouted for joy? . We toil because we must. 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. the burgeoning glory of an ever fecund. the thrice blessed godly virtue of questioning. glorious.” said Alfred North Whitehead. if thou hast understanding.When the morning stars sang together. WHO WILL STAND? We happy see-ers. seekers and seers who fiercely create and bring these shattering and seductive visions to light shall be as prophets of old.. brained and blessed to do Gaea's great bidding. green and gratifying earth.. ever new. 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 to give form and space and song to what has not been seen enough before. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare. We toil for the coming happy many who seek what we seek. We were born. We work. Nothing else or less will do.making godlike judgements as to what is good. "blind" and dreaded. Art is the religion of the spirit and the religion of the deepest unconscious striving of the fecund but tip of evolution. It is the business of the future to be dangerous. for the happy few. Art is evolutions' way of knowing herself. ever flabbergasting. in Stendahl's words.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—TENNYSON . Ulysses Copyright © Harvey Lloyd 2003 .