Monday, May 10, 2010

You are what you see

A human being is essentially
a spirit-eye.

Whatever you really see,
you are that.

--Rumi, A Year with Rumi (May 10)


Though I thought I was done creating these torsos, another one came along over the weekend. To me this one looked a bit like an owl, so I named her Wise Woman, and then ended up re-naming all of them to reflect the qualities they seemed to evoke (so this one is now Wisdom). If you'd like to see them all together, click here.

So it was fun -- and encouraging -- after spending my weekend working on this project, to see today's reading from Rumi: it seems like it should be a photographer's mantra. And of course I'd love to think that if I can look at these images and see what I saw in them, then I can BE that as well. I'd always thought it worked the other way -- that what I see in them reflects something about me. But perhaps this explains why I love to look at peaceful scenes so much: I want to BE peace. And why I love to find the beauty and the holy in the ordinary: because if I can see it, then I can be it.

What will you be looking at today? Will you really see it? And how many of the things you see will you really WANT to be? What do we do about the things we don't want to see -- or be -- that inevitably cross our paths?

I'm reading the New and Collected Poems of Mary Oliver this week, and I read one this morning called Singapore that seemed both particularly compelling and directly applicable to this question about seeing. If you haven't read the poem before, you can find it here. Check it out -- and let me know what you think...


Joyce Wycoff said...

What an incredible slideshow this is! This collection needs to be somewhere ... in a book ... in a set of wisdom cards ... somewhere! It is truly stunning, inspiring and wise.

Unknown said...

I don't comment often, but I want you to know these torsos are really working on me.

Maureen said...

I shared the show on Twitter/Hootsuite. Fun to see all these Goddesses together.

You're reading one of my favorite collections. I think I have almost all Oliver's written. Hope you enjoy her as much as I do.

Diane Walker said...

Thanks Maureen -- for ALL you do to promote us artists! And, yes, I've loved Mary Oliver for years (they put her poems in our church bulletins!) but never actually owned one of her books before. Wonderful, and inspirational...