Walking unhurriedly in an English summer garden. Tasty tea and classic crumbly cake consumed. A warm and bright day. Walking with a camera in my hand, even if only out of habit. Walking as a happy enough visitor – even if I’m aware I’m unable to see the garden as a gardener might.
We can’t all be everything.
I don’t have the eyes of a gardener, nor the experience, nor the knowledge that experience can bring, perhaps should bring.
That’s all fine, unchallenging and pleasantly humdrum enough.
As I looked around, idle musing initially prompted me to ponder what my eyes actually see. But that was and is a false prompt. My eyes were seeing – more or less – the same as everyone else’s.
The more useful second prompt was that it’s not what I’m seeing that counts. It’s what I do with what I see that matters.
That afternoon I grasped the need to concentrate on – or at least consciously notice – colours.
If I’m in a neutral, unquestioning mindset, my default, it’s rare that I look for colours – rare that I actively notice them.
I’ll notice shapes and relationships between shapes. Often, I’ll try to be aware of the meanings of the shapes I notice – the meanings of the things that are catching my eye. But too readily, I will take their colours for granted.
Colours with a clear, common meaning – red is a warning, green for ‘go’ and whatever else – are understood. Beyond that though, for all my life the colours in the world around me don’t often intrude into my thinking.
Yes, in some contexts I’ll be aware colour is important. The colours I pick for my clothes, the colours I pick to decorate my home – that sort of thing. Yes, colours impart meanings, and the meanings are multiplied any number of times by where a colour is, how it’s being used and what or who is using it. That’s all true, and I’m aware that I’m lucky enough to be able to see colours at all. But without specific contexts, colours largely pass me by unnoticed.
And so? So, I’ve been missing out.
Whatever your life, wherever you live it, it’s a more vibrant world the more you see the colours that are in it. Maybe all you’re doing is noticing colour without imbuing what you see with any meaning or importance. Regardless, the fact that you’re seeing more of what goes in to the day-to-day makes your day-to-day richer.
And if that’s simple then so be it. Being simple devalues nothing. Being simple doesn’t mean it’s obvious. Being simple doesn’t mean it’s understood or acted-upon – and being simple isn’t a barrier to understanding or action either.
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