In my memory, I spent a good portion of my young life astonished. The sight of certain things would catch my breath, and make me feel unattached to my body or to the ground– and at the same time, very harmonious. Corners of cities, lights on water, trees and animals and interiors viewed from inside a car at night. Heartbreaking, painstaking. Music could have the same effect. Films. What series of adult concerns conspire to dull these sensitivities? What can be done to reawaken them?
The other day, I committed myself to looking. My acclimated auto-pilot brain knows where my body should go, while I grapple with the same interior tetris of details and goals and responsibilities. So, I said to myself, “Stop. Look. Look again. Peel your eyes. Don’t go back inward to your dullsville pattern. Look. Look again.” And, unsurprisingly, there were so so many things to see. The same stretch of road that I’ve walked hundreds of times gave up treasures out of its side. A consortium of ugly and surprising and beautiful and pathetic images crowded into view. People of all sorts were noticed. I drank the sight of them in. It takes a strange sort of discipline to fight against the brain’s habits, but the return is worth it.
Look. Look. Look again.