Santa gifted me with a camera for Christmas, so I’ve been spending every free minute looking at my world through a lens. Focused perspective is revealing in both interesting and embarrassing ways. Paying attention to my reflection in the car window is novel and delightful: especially on a sunny New Year’s Day when I’m wearing the groovy Mongolian hat Mark got at the thrift shop.
But practicing wide angle and telephoto shots in my house show me how much distraction there is in the background, regardless of my subject of interest. How did all those rocks on the window sill get there and when did I start stacking books on the floor?
Even landscape shots at the beach reveal the challenge of prioritizing attention: eagles and herons, big yachts and wooden boats, pink skies against blue mountains and purple water are all majestic gifts of visual splendor, but without individual attention, the scene is just another boring landscape.
How true this is for my work, in which my job is to notice the subtleties of bodies. What makes healing so interesting? I think it is not unlike photography, or any art form. When we pay attention to the body, and listen to what wants to be expressed, we invite transformation. If we can hesitate at the doorway between observation and action, we can access portals to new ways of being.
My drawing teacher once said to me, “I’m not going to teach you to draw, that is just a skill you have to practice. I am going to teach you to see.” I think she was talking about these portals. New Year’s Resolutions can help with the practice part, but this year, I’m going to focus on finding the portals.