Category: The Little Things
seeing with new eyes
The technology, speed, and busyness so prized by our Western culture foster a habit of blindness. For all the bustle, a dreary sameness comes to mark the places where we live. We forget that there is a vast depth beneath the apparent surfaces of things.
The eye of aesthetic spirituality sees more than other eyes. Art in general, and photography in particular, helps to facilitate this awakening by granting epiphanies through its transfigurations of the ordinary. We come to know more than what appears within our line of vision.
–Christine Valters Painter, Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice
There is great truth in this. I know I have come to see the world differently since I started photography…I was so blind to all of the beauty around me, in everyday things I never saw before and completely took for granted.
I remember when my mom had cataract surgery, a number of years ago. It was a joy to drive her home afterwards, for she was like a small child again, exclaiming that she’d forgotten how beautiful the world was, how lovely all of the colors were; my mom was experiencing the world in a completely new and unique way, at the age of 76. Cataract surgery–having the film removed from one’s eyes–is a prefect metaphor for a new way of seeing reality. A way of seeing with wonder and amazement.
That’s how I feel when I am photographing, for instance, purple flowers from a five dollar supermarket bouquet. Take, for instance, the lovely flirty ruffled curve of their petals, their soft, velvety textures, their gorgeous deep and rich purple tones…I live my life immersed in beauty, chronic pain and depression be damned! The ordinary is indeed transformed.
Photography has helped me to be grateful for the beauty of this glorious, fascinating world God has given us. Sometimes just the act of photographing a flower, a sunset, the smile on my husband’s face (oh my, do I love his dimples!), becomes a prayer of gratitude in itself.
What about you? If you like photography, do you find it has changed the way you see, and participate in, reality? Or is there another spiritual practice that transfigures your world, your everyday experiences?
wordless wednesday, coffee edition
wordless wednesday (needing a hint of spring)
It’s so easy to get into a rut this time of year. The January Blahs, I call it. Grey, dreary skies, the post-holiday blues, temperatures dipping below zero, some of the shortest days of the year (yes, longer than in December, but not by much), nasty, dirty slush everywhere–all of these things add up to one crummy mood. So I just trudge along, each day blending into the next.
And in the process, I completely miss the beauty in the world because I am wandering around with blinders on, unable to see the miracles happening all around me. Because there are miracles, and beauty, even in January. We just have to pay attention.
You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.–Paulo Coelho
My miracles today? My cocker spaniel coming over and snuggling with me when I started to cry over the loss of my Uncle Al, who died last week. A super nice compliment from the teacher of my online still photography class. My amazingly wonderful husband who actually listens when I need to talk, and somehow instinctively knows when I need a hug. Our backyard looking fresh and pretty with a coating of new snow, and our house feeling so cozy.
What were your mini-miracles (or big miracles) today?
One Little Word to Guide My New Year
Instead of making a list of New Year’s resolutions, why not try choosing one word that represents what you’d like to focus on in 2016?
I’ve decided my word is going to NOURISH. I’m consciously choosing to nourish my spirituality, my health (physical and emotional), my marriage, and my friendships. To hold myself accountable, I’ll journal every week about how I have nourished the above mentioned.
What word will you choose?
If you could discover one little word to focus on for the next year, what would it be? Think about it carefully, for the word you choose will create large changes in your life, if you allow it.
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