As a very visual person, I often wonder if I see more than other people or if how I make sense of the world is vastly different from others. I am, by nature, observant and my eyes gravitate toward shapes, forms, colors, textures and other minute details. I don’t know why I view my world in this manner and sometimes it can be annoying. I jokingly call my acute awareness of the external world hyper-vigilance. And while it can help me in some ways, like playing punch buggy with my husband on car trips, it can also be exhausting. On that same journey, I find it very hard to relax and close my eyes as I feel it necessary to relentlessly scan the horizon and monitor all traffic around us.
I like the idea of seeing things in broad terms, of looking at the trees in my yard as furry conical forms or bushy green spheres. Similarly, I like to flip that approach and encourage my eyes to zoom in and analyze something by studying it closely. In the summer, I find it fun to lie in the grass and look at a single blade. Soon, a whole world opens as tiny ants and other bugs wander by or a wind pushes the grass making its color and forms change. To see in exquisite detail and to be able to shift your own perspective to that of another are important skills to cultivate. If life becomes ordinary or stagnant, change your perspective: stand on your hands, climb a tree or simply stretch out in the grass.
And this landscape, which to me looks to be an ant’s perspective crawling through some kind of arid desert plain, is actually a close up of an elephant’s back. They have bristly, coarse hairs over much of their body.