Look or See?

Sometimes I look and do not see. Often it’s because I’m hurrying or have my eyes in one place while my mind is elsewhere. I can look at something without really being there. And that’s when I miss out on some of the real beauty in this world. So, maybe this post is about slowing down. But maybe it’s also about drawing close enough so that we can better understand what we’re looking at.

“Looking but not seeing is the hearing but not understanding of the eye.”

― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

On my way out of the house I noticed a pretty flower had recently bloomed. I grabbed the phone (weapon of mass distraction) from my pocket and stepped toward the flower to grab a quick photo. I thought it might be pretty enough to use it in a post. For some reason, my wise self* (inner child? spark of the universe? sub-conscious mind? Holy Spirit?) urged me to slow down and really see the flower.

What I saw – once I drew close – was that this brilliant blossom that wooed me from across the yard was much more than a pretty flower. I stopped and grounded myself with an intentional deep breath. As I breathed, I tried to feel my feet and the connection with they had with the ground. Sometimes when I do this I imagine that the world stops spinning; that time stands still and allows me a chance to really be present in a different way.

That pretty flower was actually a tiny environment in which at least three other creatures were living. Two crawling and one winged critter were also there on the rhododendron. Without even taking the time to geek out about the creatures that live within the roots underground, I was impressed by these three little beasts who had nearly escaped my awareness. When I drew close, looking became seeing. This pretty flower on a bush was a tiny leafy universe. I smiled and felt a deep sense of calmness.

So today I’m sharing two groups of photos; one group of close ups snipped from the second group of pics. Maybe looking at these close ups will help us see the value of stopping and drawing close. Maybe the idea of drawing close isn’t just about seeing. Maybe slowing down and drawing close can help us all gain greater understanding. Maybe slowing down and drawing close could help us reconcile differences and build healthier and stronger relationships.



At any rate, I hope you’ll find some pleasure in these photographs. They have brought me joy and hopefully taught me to not only look, but truly see the world right in front of me. I would also love to see any similar photos that you have to share!

Thank you for drawing close enough today that we might better “see” one another!

*Wise Self? For years, I’ve seen the need and value of helping people listen within. For a number of clinical reasons it can be really important to discuss this part of a person. Encouraging people to listen within, may feel spiritual or religious for some. Never wanting to offend or to favor a particular world view, I stumbled upon a phrase that we can all understand. Please read this short post about the part of you that doesn’t show up on an x-ray. Of course, you can call it whatever you wish and I think it’s important to nourish and cherish that part of you.

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