Deep Thoughts - yes, I go there sometimes . . .

When I was in college I read a book by John Berger called "Ways of Seeing". The book is about visual culture and art history, but it really challenged the reader to think about the idea of "how what you know affects the way you see things". In other words, if seeing came before knowing, how would that change what you thought about what you were seeing? Are you still with me? Think about it this way - in 1540 a Spanish conquistador called Garcia Lopez de Cardenas was riding his horse around the western United States and happened upon a giant hole in the ground. A hole that we now know as The Grand Canyon. Can you imagine stumbling upon the Grand Canyon, never having any knowledge of it's existence? Doesn't that make you wish you could see it without ever having "known" it?! Think about how different (and amazing) the experience would be. I just imagine Garcia out there totally FREAKING OUT, thinking "the guys back in Spain are never going to believe this sh*t !". How did he even describe it to them? Seriously. But it's not just the experience of the Grand Canyon or any other amazing sight that we have been robbed of truly experiencing. It's EVERYTHING. We see everything in the context of all we already know (or think we know) about it. So I have challenged myself to "see" things - especially people. In approaching life, I want to leave behind all my ideas of what something should be, and just experience it for what it is. I'll let you know what I see.

photo by Elizabeth Skillman
 Big Ben & the London Eye from Waterloo Bridge, October 2010.

1 comment:

LESAPEA MUSINGS said...

You make me envy Garcia, in so many ways. Thank you so much for coming by my blog, I look forward to coming by more often as well.

Lisa xx