Saturday, February 2, 2013

Tuning Our Senses

Responding to the urge to immerse myself, I deliberately alert my mind to the prospect of incoming data. I have experienced the automaton-like phenomena of pinging my senses in a sort of mental roll-call:
What can I see? What can I smell? What can I hear?
Yet in what I imagine to be heightened awareness, I am often surprised ― not by what I see, hear, or smell, rather by the flicker of something I have just missed.

A School of Minnows
Sensual acuity is like a muscle needing the discipline of exercise and practice.

Annie Dillard devotes a chapter to Seeing in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. She writes that the most obvious objects in nature are often the most difficult to see.
Nature is one of those line drawings of a tree that are puzzles for children.
Annie Dillard
We are creatures deceived by expectation. Often we only see what we expect.
My eyes account for less than one percent of the weight of my head. I'm bony and dense; I see what I expect.Annie Dillard
How do we tune our senses to the unexpected?
If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail. Heraclitus