Thursday, 8 March 2012

eco-gazing

What is life, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare? (William Henry Davies)

Good question. We should make time. The variable weather at the moment gives plenty of opportunity to experience the widest range of physical conditions. Why should we make time? Standing, staring, gazing and wondering are not passive states. They are interactive. They require one to confront the way things are. They can lead us to an enhanced sense of well-being, that we belong in the natural realm.  In an article entitled "The healing touch of the wild" for Positive News psychotherapist Hetti Dysch concludes with the sentence 'Helping us to reconnect individually and culturally,wilderness therapy invites us to get to know our landscape and inspires communities to be guided by the blueprint of sustainability and interdependence that nature reveals.' For me, it's a way of triangulating current situations.

This morning I was watching and sensing the interaction of wind and flow on the river water. This was time, the river and my presence creating a moment. Having learnt and practised meditation techniques intermittently, I knew that I could change my level of consciousness. Apparent emptiness could be filled if I allowed the river in. With concentration, I can hold on to what I consider to be a deeper level of consciousness for a while, so turned my attention to the trunk of a tree.
As so often before, once I had started to draw, I became part of what I was observing. The drawing is only an exercise in observation; an aid to understanding. And although I don't set-out to create a drawing that becomes something that might have its own value as an end-product, the desire to create something beautiful does, nevertheless, play a part. By something beautiful, I think I mean something that attempts to communicate or express some human emotion. I was drawn to draw this particular tree trunk by some very raw sensibilities, such as the raw sexual attraction of an orifice and of the released binding from a wire fence. Making the drawing was so very different from taking a photograph and later manipulating it, as I had done two days' previously:

I took this image on my way to the top of Noonstones Hill, from where I could experience the effects of the weather at different altitudes. Also the image below.
From the summit I took this image of Yad Moss. I think it speaks for itself. I was not inclined to interfere with it in any way.
The point I'm trying to make is that meanings and values seem to come to the surface just by gazing. I guess it could be at anything - or anyone - that you love. It seems to reinforce that love. Just as lovers gaze at each other, just as a mother gazes at her baby and the baby gazes back. They and we are a part of each other, and sense a fullness by our belonging. A love of the fullness of life and the way that we are part of that fullness may help us to break our addiction to consumerism. If that's so, maybe we should do it more? And if that's so, I'll give the activity a name. I'll call it eco-gazing.

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