We are all trying to make sense of a world that feels just a little bit crazy lately. The proverbial rug was pulled out from under our feet early in 2020. Question is, how to get our bearings and re-set the compass to move forward? So much is unknown and uncertain, and it can be very confusing. I posted this back in November 2019, but it may be more important than ever. Finely honed power of perception as the observer is an important tool to have under our belts.
The Layers of Reality
Always try to look beyond the obvious, no matter what you are observing. Over the years, black-and-white photographs have been a teacher for me in this. Our physical reality exists in layers, and in the case of monochrome images as an example, the top layer of color has been “peeled away”.
We strongly respond to color and are very distracted by it. When color is removed from a photograph, the form, line, and texture become much more apparent. The structure, the essence of a thing starts to pop out. There is so much more there that we don’t see at first glance.
The landscape below is a good example. In the first version, the color is highly distracting; my eye moves rapidly around the photo, taking in and enjoying all of that luscious, variant color. Also, it’s a sunset, so although the sailboat is highly prominent right beside it, that bright yellow ball overrides the boat. The sun is mesmerizing.
In the second version where color is removed, the focus is different. The texture and detail of the water are much more evident, and particularly at the shoreline. Instead of constantly circling the picture, my eye goes back and forth in a line, between one point on the shore and the boat. Removing the color from the sun has pushed it back in the picture; the boat now dominates.
Peel away the layers, look deeper
The takeaway? In every encounter, be it with an individual, scenery, or society around you, strive to look deeper. What is there, right underneath that which is first apparent and perhaps monopolizing your attention? Don’t look just with your eyes, but also “see” beyond the surface with your feeling sense. Listen to what your gut is telling you.
Rest assured, it is there, waiting to be noticed. And more often than you might imagine, it is important.
Be aware of, and beware of, the top layer, the facade, the distraction. It keeps our consciousness on a superficial level. It’s not only what we are observing that is so much more, but so are we!
Photos courtesy Yuting Gao and Bianca, Pexels
Perception | Of the Observer © Susan L Hart 2020 | Hart Haiku