some future day will some creature, someone not us, find this relic this remembrance this sign of our passing, some folk they say, who made their own rock and here these traces of the world inhabited then.
certainly the memory of a fallen leaf. maybe even a shoe.
here, see, how we look
how we look is how we understand.
there was a young woman who wondered how her sight said what she saw.
what other ways might there be? so she went walking her city streets in company with other eyes, other noses, other feet.
a child, a toddler, who sees everything from three feet tall and six inch feet. a dog who sees with his nose, who’s been here, who passed along,
who left some message for other scents to know and recognize. a doctor, a modern medicine man, who looked to see what people said with their bodies, their balanced walk, even the scent of their breath, how it was, their health inside their hidden lives. a stone mason man who knew every texture and face and quality of stone throughout the region and what had been used to build and sheath each structure along the path. a master of font and print who could read the history of each building saying who and from where their history was made by their style of alphabet.
what about the relics of our own lives? who was I at five years old, what broken toys, what old shoes, how worn the soles, what scribbles in chalk or crayon on paper to please a parent? who was I at ten years old, with a new camera Christmas present, my very first photography, and Uncle Lou, please step to one side while I imagine the flowering plant in black and white, and please, people only confuse the idea for me. who at twelve or at fifteen, wearing a first graduation suit so out of reality, looking like someone I was not and never would be, not even close. where was any reality of me, a modern life, wife with blonde hair, a white picket fence around the house? did anyone see the doubt and insecurity?
wasn’t I obvious?
near everything I saw wasn’t really there.
rules for seeing more
be blessed with the ability to admire the unlovely.
explore by surfaces by textures, by finger by toe by tongue. by taste.
forget what’s uninteresting. the bottom of a chair, what’s behind a drawer, people’s knees.
gaze at something long enough and it may become odd, unfamiliar. try.
To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees. Paul Valery
compassion emerges from imagining the world alive.
when collecting a pebble, collect one more to keep the first company. if not keeping it, return it to where it was found, that it not suffer from having been moved from its home.
allow body to speak. a sweep of hands, a circumference, a shoulder shrug, a loose hillside rock, a turn of head, the next place you will go.
point first, then speak, say