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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the galaxies. 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.ORIGINS Two of NASA's Great Observatories. It's a bit like finding a family scrapbook containing snapshots that capture the lives of family members from infancy through adolescence to adulthood.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE CELESTIAL SPIRIT

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

—JAMES ALLEN, As a Man Thinketh, Vision Quotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—TENNYSON . Ulysses Copyright © Harvey Lloyd 2003 .

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