Smelling Vision

There is much to be said when we open our senses and allow the creative force of spring to touch us. We can ride the surge of energy of the earth as the plants thrive to come into existence and produce for their next offsprings. I was awe struck on a recent walk along a dry river bed that was filled with wild flowers. There was so much delicateness in the profusion of shapes and colors of the seen world. Of course, there are also the elementals that live together with the seen for those people who are open enough to receive them as well. In a healthy ecosystem, we see flowers and bees and many other insects. We hear birds and other critters as part of this one system, co-existing synergistically in each other’s survival.

In my life, I have spent a lot of time in nature often walking alone. It is not that I don’t like the company of humans. I just find most humans do not know how to be in nature quietly, listening and allowing wonder and awe to melt them from the inside and outside. Because I am silent, not just in words but also in my foot steps, many animals show themselves to me. This last week, I heard a mountain lion and saw two beautiful grey foxes. While lying on the ground, I observed the white wings and underbelly of the condors as well as the new red insect crawling on the ground (is it a new bee or ant?). When in nature, I let go of an agenda. I simply listen. Then all of a sudden, a huge hawk flies in front with alive critter on its talons. I can still visualize its mahogany and cinnamon feathers with its sharp eyes and beak.

Then of course, most humans spray themselves with so much chemicals that it deters animals. It certainly deters me!!! Being in the natural world reminds me that we are nature and also how far our “innovations” and “technologies” take us away from this very fact. Sometimes, I share photos of my nature time to entice people to actually go out themselves and make those discoveries. It was a slight struggle for me to make that choice because it is my private time. When one takes a photo, it objectifies something so alive and whole. It catches a moment in time. And for the photographer (me in this case), it takes me out from the wide receiving mode to the visual artist dissecting to present what may be most pleasing to the audience. It creates a strong object-subject relationship which is the opposite of my being in nature as nature.

What we don’t see, we don’t value. What we don’t value, we don’t protect. I want people to step up and protect nature. Hence, I have made a decision to share ways of looking and sensing to tantalize you to expand beyond the confines of lines and right angles and LED lights finger tappings on electronic keyboards and regulated temperature controls and inside screen windows to listen to the bubbling brook and feel the soft light filtering through ancient oaks and marvel at the woodpecker stuffing acorns into the carpentered tree. I want you to experience the mysterious darkness of a cave and the moistness of mother earth and feel the regulation of your central nervous system attuning to a whole new rhythm than urban life. Feel the bumps on the rocks as you traverse and holster yourself up the ledge and receive the breeze from the other side of the canyon. The wide horizon allows your eyes to recede back instead of forward like a chicken’s head cut off. This allows a different way of your limbic system operating. The external spaciousness lends itself to the internal sense of peace and safety.

Then you can smell vision, not just the gross yearly income on a personal or national scale. When you smell vision, you see seven generations forward. You hear how the songs we sing now birth the children of the future. We can then self-correct if our songs point us to a way that saddens our hearts.

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