On a Clear Day You Can See Forever

The greatest thing a human being ever does in this world is to see something.... To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion, all in one.
--John Ruskin

I've reached that awkward stage in my life when I can't see with my glasses on or with them off, so I constantly carry them around with me and momentarily panic whenever I've misplaced them. As my middle-aged eyesight changes, I've become acutely aware of how precious our ability to see clearly is.

A friend of mine, Susan Abbott, is an extraordinary artist who creates panoramic watercolors that are breathtaking in their exquisite detail. Her eyes and hands apprehend a visual catalog of a woman's daily life with astonishing attention to the subtle nuances - nothing is too insignificant or uninspired for Susan's attention. Like a brilliant photograph, her still-life arrangements seize a moment in time to dazzling effect. Artists especially hold sacred the sense of sight.

Pablo Picasso once said, "If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes" we would be amazed at the world around us. Paul Klee, the Swiss artist, declared, "One eye sees, the other feels." As Paul Cézanne grew older he doubted his powers of perception and worried that the authenticity of his art might be a quirk of nature. Because he had trouble with his eyesight he wondered if the unique way of seeing the world which he captured on canvas in painstaking single brushstrokes might be mere accident instead of genius. But perhaps Georgia O'Keeffe expressed it best when she observed that "In a way nobody sees a flower really, it is so small, we haven't the time - and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time."

To see takes time. We haven't the time. Here is the unrelenting truth and it's chilling to the soul. Most of us have been given a miraculous gift - the ability to see - but we don't take the time to do more than glance around. We take our sense of sight for granted. A dear friend of mine has been having some serious trouble with her eyesight and as she shares her worries with me about losing it, I feel helpless. What she laments losing is being able to drive the car pool or take her children to the dentist, to do her grocery shopping, try out new recipes, read the newspaper, see the faces of those she loves, put on her makeup. Infinitesimal, precious moments that make up the days of our lives.

Today, really look around at your world - your family, your home, your pets, your co-workers, and the strangers on the street. Smile at everyone you meet because you can see them. Never forget that the gift of vision was so important that when God created the world, the first command was for Light in order to see, and after the Great Creator was finished with each day's task, He glanced back on His handiwork and "saw that it was good."

We need to see how good it is, too.

-Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance - A Daybook of Comfort and Joy ©1995

Anne Geddes never fails to amuse, and amaze me with the quality and sensitivity of her work. Some time ago, one issue of Friday's Inspiration included "Jack holding Maneesha." I was unable to paste that wonderful image into this week's posting, but I have the next best thing: There is so much to see and enjoy at her website. The following is an example of her work. Please visit her site to see more.

© -Anne Geddes
Sweet Handful
You are a Marvel


email: Michael@N-Spire.com

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