Looking and Seeing….
In the book Ichigo Ichie by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles, there is a wonderful chapter on The Art Of Looking. It brings attention to the fact that there may be many instances when we “look” but we do not “see”. There is a story about Ronald Reagan attending a university award ceremony. At this award ceremony, he missed recognizing his own son, who was there to receive a prize and was standing barely a few feet away. He was so focused on his role in the spotlight that for a few seconds he didn’t see who was right in front of him. This case of looking without seeing has happened to me a couple of times.
Wassily Kandinsky, an artist of the twentieth-century avant-garde, gave the following advice for viewing art “Lend your ears to music, open your eyes to painting, and . . . stop thinking!”
What comes up for you when you “look at” this beautiful image of the sky and what comes up when you “see” it.
When I look at this image, I see this beautiful reflection of the sky in the water.
When I see it, I see the vast expanse of the sky with cottony clouds, clear water, and the delicate greenery interlaced in between. When I see it for a moment longer, I see the passion of the photographer who captured this beautiful moment such that we are able to admire it and take a pause on this Friday afternoon.
I wonder how cultivating the “art of looking” can elevate the quality of our connections – what if we were so present to those whom we talk to that we could “see” what is going on within the person we are looking at and hold space for what they have to say….