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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All human beings. the heroines are beautiful. Celebrities of screen. To truly see people. If you would photograph someone you do not know.” 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. “The way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe.. and society restates that message in many subtle ways as they grow older. Lovers appear wreathed in splendor. you must drop your own mask to enable true seeing of the human being beneath. A smile goes a long way. .When in love... ‘Ordinary' people are merely glanced at or ignored unless we know them or plan to try to meet them.. we need to love and respect them.'. Look in the mirror. caring. Children learn implicitly that good people are beautiful and bad people are ugly. author John Berger writes. in fairy tales. music or politics are usually seen with a halo of power. whether celebrities or otherwise. In A Natural History of the Senses. author Diane Ackerman writes: We may pretend that beauty is only skin deep. Parents and relatives stir conflicting emotions. then grin.. the first stories most of us hear. and the wicked sots are ugly. wear masks. but Aristotle was right when he observed the ‘beauty is a far greater recommendation than any letter of introduction. riches and talent.After all. giving or passion..HOW DO YOU SEE PEOPLE? In Ways of Seeing. the heroes are handsome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

Reject: and let there be Only tree.Forget the tube of bark. Getting no seed to sprout. Colors pour in and out: Here is a timeless structure wrought Like the candelabrum of pure thought. Alliterative leaves. Tenacious like a hand Gnarled rootage in the dark Interior of land. Stripped of green root and leaf. 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. Bright incidental bird Whose melody is fanned Among the bundled sheaves Wild spool of the winding word. — STANLEY KUNITZ .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

not recklessly. 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 cellars of misers and bean counters. love and creation. Without passion we create grey slag heaps of time worn existence.grapes. We must protect the God given flame of inspiration ere it flickers out in the temples of money changers. dreams that make life real. The man's lot is to live his human life. the poet's to invent what is non-existent. 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. Our dreams arise from inspiration. moral and cultural values. —ORTEGA Y GASSET. the sole elements that conspire to make us more than slouching beasts. but as the fires of volcanoes renew the earth. but rise to snow peaked mountains towering into the next world. We seek the . We are all poets at heart. Passion and joy rule our lives. in the offices of bureaucrats.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ulysses Copyright © Harvey Lloyd 2003 .—TENNYSON .

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