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...look at it. Saturday November 16, 2013

So reads the title for chapter 11 in his book The Yellow World by the quirky and quick minded Albert Espinoza.

That title truly resonated with me. In the last couple of weeks I've been perusing hundred's and hundred's of photo's on my computer, going back six or seven years. What really stood out to me, was that despite the fact those years have been glutted with sadness and disappointments, my photograph's did not reflect that.

I'd captured, often on a daily basis, chance, random, sometimes odd but always beautiful, pretty things and moments. My photographic library documents not the quotidian garbage but the beauty.

Due to recent surgery I've been somewhat incapacitated and was initially in much discomfort and pain. During those days, there was little to be done but to 'find what I liked looking at and then, well, to look at it.'

It was then I realised that I'm quite good at (and I don't utter those words often) tuning into and observing pleasant things; The coloured wool piled into pigeon holes in the living room, a lamp with colourful crystals dangling and casting rainbows on the wall, the intricate folds of a rose standing regally in a vase, the flicker of a scented candle, little things can deliver a lot of comfort in our darker moments.

Whilst in hospital, I stumbled on a huge patchwork quilt that depicted some of the famous sights of Liverpool, mounted and framed on a wall. The workmanship was breathtaking such was the intricacy and detail. Alas, I didn't see anyone stop and stare. That made me sad.

So, today, fight the torpor, find something you like looking at, perhaps something no-one else has noticed and photograph it. Stare at it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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The Entertrainer Sat, Nov 16th 2013 @ 8:44am

Thanks for such a moving post, Suzy. One of my favourite thoughts is: "Where is my attention?" You've shared a gift for shifting your attention to whatever is positive or beautiful, interesting or fascinating.

I've just been sent an advert for a new camera that you hang around your neck or clip to your clothes. It has 'intelligent' sensors that decide when and when not to take a picture - automatically. The idea is that it become a journal of where your attention is.
I wonder what the camera would capture for each one of us - where our focus would be throughout the day.

I prefer your way. The deliberate choice to stop and pay attention (and after all so many people are SO poor, they can't even pay attention!)

W. H. Davies adds to your insight in his poem "Leisure"...

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

les Morgan Sat, Nov 16th 2013 @ 9:04am

Totally agree with the above post...........moving...heartfelt....personal......uplifting.

Fab - FAB - FAB

Julia Sat, Nov 16th 2013 @ 9:08am

Hi Suzy. I hope you are feeling better now and will soon be pain free after your surgery. The Yellow World is a wonderful book. So glad you mentioned it. It's a short book and well worth reading or even dipping into. Guaranteed to make anyone feel better. As your blogs always do Suzy. Thank you.

Mart Sat, Nov 16th 2013 @ 2:19pm

Wonderful post today Suzy. Stop, stare and be amazed! And there's plenty of beautiful things out there to be amazed by.

Anonymous Sat, Nov 16th 2013 @ 5:28pm

Lovely post, Suzy. Thanks for the poem reminder, The Entertrainer. I tend to stop and stare a lot and then get stuck. Over the last couple of years I've taken photos and posted them on FaceBook. It has been a creative mental health cushion for me and I now have a record of when, where and what I've been looking at!  I also tend to find that the positioning of my physical body when taking photos is very therapeutic. Crouching down, I get a child's eye point of view and laying underneath rhododendrons, I get a cat's eye p.o.v!  Amazing!

Anonymous Sat, Nov 16th 2013 @ 9:42pm

Thank you so much Lex for reminding me of this poem - from my adolescence - so true - and so easily forgotten. And here's hoping Suzy, that you are soon recovered ... Frankie

Anonymous Sat, Nov 16th 2013 @ 11:05pm

Nice post, but what's with the apostrophes? Four redundant ones in your second paragraph. The plural of hundred is hundreds, plural of photo is photos....etc.

Caroline Ashcroft Sat, Nov 16th 2013 @ 11:21pm

Absolutely right! Apologies. As you say, nice post though :-)

David Oliver Tue, Dec 10th 2013 @ 7:20am

Sketch it.

The effort of sketching really requires focused looking at both details and the whole. Then I can really "see" the thing.

And don't worry if you can't draw, the point is to sketch. You don't even have to look at it afterwards, ever.

And thanks for the reminder. I think I'll also take more photo.

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