Practicing Seeing

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 7

With my daily practice of my 365 photography project, I’m learning to really see. To pay attention. To glimpse the small moments that surround and make up my everyday life. I’m astonished by how much more I notice. I didn’t expect that as a by-product of my 365 project. I thought my 365 would be all about my photography and gaining skills in my craft and art. Yet I’m delighted and full of gratitude that inhabiting my life more fully is a part of what this 365 has come to mean and give me.

This leaf, a small part of nature literally all around me in this season of autumn, grabbed my attention. This leaf, with its bright red color and bilateral symmetry, urged me to notice its simplicity, its beauty. This leaf reminded me to “lose myself inside this soft world.”

Mindful by Mary Oliver

Every day
I see or hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for—
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world—
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant—
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these—
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

7 Responses

  1. Even though I’m not in the midst of a 365 project of my own, I’ve noticed the same thing when I am taking photos regularly — even on my iPod or point-and-shoot camera. You DO start to notice the world around you more. It a really good practice; in fact, you, the psychologist-photographer, could probably design a fabulous course around using photography as a means towards mindfulness!

    • Meghan says:

      YES, E! I love that you have found this to be true of your own photography practice. And an e-course…..hmmmm. I like this seed. xoxo

  2. Corinna says:

    Yes yes yes. Love the poem and the fact that this is what a 365 practice does. And I offer this, in response:

    love is a place
    by e. e. cummings

    love is a place
    & through this place of
    love move
    (with brightness of peace)
    all places

    yes is a world
    & in this world of
    yes live
    (skillfully curled)
    all worlds

  3. Lindsey says:

    I have goosebumps – this is one of my very favorite poems, and I just shared it a week or two ago – love that we are on the same wavelength. It makes my eyes fill with tears, and my heart fill with hope, every single time I read it. xoxoxo

    • Meghan says:

      I had no idea you just shared this same poem, Lindsey (I’m sooo behind in my blog reading). I love that we are on the same wavelength. xoxo

  4. Galit Breen says:

    Stunning. Truly.

    (Blown away by the poignancy, and the beauty.)

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