Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How We See

It's no surprise that you and I may "see" things differently. But this past week, I've been thinking about how our looking affects our seeing. The simple expressions, "Well, that's not how I see it" or "Look at it my way," may be expressing a deeper truth than we realize- that even when we're looking at an object, we may not see it clearly. I know this is true for me. I'm sort of a global-conceptual person- I look at the big picture. Some people can't see the forest for the trees? I'm the opposite- my natural response is to gape in wonder at the forest without seeing the individual trees.
I can see the trees, but it takes a conscious effort on my part. Knowing that I tend to look at the whole without observing details, I sometimes take either a camera or a sketchbook. I recently took several pictures of the deep crevices of (I think) a loblolly pine tree's bark. I take pictures of lichen and wildflowers all the time. Why? So that I can train myself to notice the details.
Please don't be offended when you get your hair styled a new way and I don't comment. I don't usually notice what you're wearing, either. My husband has worn a mustache for most of the time I've known him. One day he shaved it off. I thought he looked different somehow, but couldn't quite put my finger on what the difference was.
I don't think I need to totally change my natural tendency- I like being a "big picture" kind of person, and think there are benefits to my way of seeing. But I want to learn to appreciate the details, too, and to do that, I have to notice them!
I'm not finished with this topic. I'll have to ponder it a little while longer to get to what I'm trying to find!

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