Usually, we hear visibility assessed in terms of quantifiable distances, e.g.miles. But yesterday, Mother Nature blew the aperture wide open on our vista.
It got me to thinking about visibility, the “state of being able to see or be seen.” So often what we see is circumscribed by our own limitations, conscious or not. Whether due to projections or omissions, or the lack of applying our resources, like time and awareness, to the act of seeing. So often we see what we want/need/expect to see. Failing or refusing to see what’s really out there.
What if our vision were unhampered by these restrictions: What would our worlds look like then?
While I was sitting in the backyard, savoring a few moments of quietude overlooking the marsh, I noticed something small moving in the grass, assuming from its size that it was a bee. When I looked closer, I saw it was a teeny tiny, wayward crab, unexpectedly traveling around the lawn, and burrowing every time I neared it.
Georgia O’Keeffe’s famous observation came back to me: “Nobody sees a flower; it is so small. We haven’t time and to see takes time….” Had I been rushing around, I wouldn’t have noticed the wee creature’s subtle movement. Being present allowed me to.
When my son and I drove by the sea, we were floored by how much we could see in the distance on that incredibly clear day. How odd and entrancing to view the faraway islands we see nearly every day detailed so finely, rather than in primitive chunks of dark and light. Never having discerned buildings before, my eyes had registered the land as a huge, undifferentiated mass rather than as the populous place I know it to be.
Making me wonder: What else am I missing?
I think one of the biggest areas of opacity and distortion we experience involves other people. The projections we employ, including those based on visible characteristics, can be compounded by the flip side of visibility: of being seen. Many times we don’t want to be seen for who or what we are. The walls and camouflage we fashion result in our being invisible. Visibility range: poor. Or zero.
Merci beaucoup to Mother Nature for shining her light on visibility. Note to self: open up and aspire to that state so beautifully expressed by e. e. cummings: “…the eyes of my eyes are opened….”
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”~Marcel Proust
Photo credit: 2nd from bottom–Nikki Carrara