I often write about the importance of an artist’s or a writer’s or a thinker’s truly “seeing,” as opposed to merely looking.

Colorful, Insect, Bug, Nature, Animal, Close-Up, Macro

There Is A Huge Difference Between Looking and Seeing – Even Flies Can Look

I have lived a while now, and I have taught art and writing most of that time. During my lifetime, several truths have presented themselves to me, and one of those truths is that most people don’t take the time nor make the effort to truly See. As Einstein might have said, most peoples’ eyes, though wide open, are closed–especially when it comes to seeing more than the way to the car, the way to the kitchen, the way to the bathroom, etc. When it comes to seeing with the capacity to understand or to even sense any of the greater mysteries of life, most peoples’ eyes are closed:

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” – Albert Einstein

Garden writers and/or nature writers must be artists, and true artists and writers must learn to truly See. They cannot be numb to life around themselves, and rather than mere functioning, they must learn to look deeper and to feel the fire that is always burning somewhere and within something. Recognizing and absorbing that fire within is the secret to truly seeing, and after finding those buried flames, the artist must learn to distil them and to share from them as they are–raw, in unfiltered way.

An Interesting Thing Is That Eyes Serve A Dual Purpose:

  1. They are the vessels through which we look.
  2. They are the orbits that reflect whether or not we see

When I teach art, I tell my students to immediately capture the eyes because the eyes tell a being’s life story.


Boy with Curls – Jacki Kellum
Red Chalk Drawing

“The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter – often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter – in the eye.” – Charlotte Brontë

“If there is a true measure of a person’s soul, if there is a single gauge of real divinity, of how beautifully a fellow human honors this life, has genuine spiritual fire and is full of honest love and compassion, it has to be right there, in the eyes.

“The Dalai Lama’s eyes sparkle and dance with laughter and unbridled love. The Pope’s eyes are dark and glazed, bleak as obsidian marbles. Pat Robertson’s eyes are rheumy and hollow, like tiny potholes of old wax. Goldman Sachs cretins, well, they don’t use their own eyes at all; they just steal someone else’s.” – Mark Morford

“Eyes as black and as shiny as chips of obsidian stared back into his. They were eyes like black holes, letting nothing out, not even information.” – Neil Gaiman

So with curious eyes and sick surmise
We watched him day by day,
And wondered if each one of us
Would end the self-same way,
For none can tell to what red Hell
His sightless soul may stray. – Oscar Wilde


The Eyes Have It! Learn to See – Don’t Just Look!

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