Tag Archives: vision

The Vision

Creek babbling through Benvoulin wetlands in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, Capture from video shared by Extemporalist under Creative Commons 1.0 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Creek_babbling_through_Benvoulin_wetlands.webm

The Vision

The stream burbled patiently singing its tune
As the sun shone in a ray through the break in the trees
While dragonflies danced and frogs played
In the early summer’s warmth of this peaceful place
My secret place where others rarely enter
A space to commune with the undisturbed world
To delight in the slow and steady rhythm of the creator
Where every mote of dust reflects magic and light
And heaven and earth are not so far apart
This thin space where sometimes epiphanies occurs

Into this peaceful space emerges a hawk, proud and strong
Soaring in to rest upon the branch an ancient oak tree
And it watches me watching it with knowing eyes
A herald of the mystery that awaits unveiling in that space
Rustling through the underbrush another unexpected guest
Emerging with his royal blue head from the undergrowth
Strutting into this magical place with his myriad eyes
As he quickly expands his tailfeathers in proud display
Looking imperially at the human who happens to be
In this space where creation came to play in delight
To dance in the joy of the creator’s masterwork

As nature continued to roll back her curtain of majesty
Rolling out her green carpet to await the celebration
Out of the mystery steps lady wisdom cloaked in green
With her escorts, a stag on her left and a wolf on her right
The frogs cease their croaking chorus
Dragonflies circle to land on the cat lilies
The peacock bows his proud blues head
the hawk swoops down to land upon her shoulder
While I stand transfixed by this moment of mystery
All watch as she brings forth an egg from her cloak
Which she cradles in her hands like the greatest treasure
As the creation watches this miracle of new birth

Somehow, I know to look away not to look unmediated
At the divine drama unfolding in this beautiful place
But from the reflection of the stream I see her lay
The dormant egg into a thick blanket of green grass
And from the bed of green emerges red, yellow, blue and orange
As nature’s nest burns and yet remains unconsumed
And I wonder if I, like Moses, stand on sacred ground
As the new chick emerges with a cry of victory
From fire and light and ash the new phoenix emerges
Spreading its wings towards the waiting sky
Looking to its dominion among the heavens

Before it flies away from this place it scooped
By the woman’s gentle hands and they share a second
As all the earth bows in this moment of mystery
Wolf and stag bend low, peacock and hawk
Even the trees themselves seem to stoop
As creation lifts its joyous song and the resurrection
The revelation that magic has not left the creation
And I, on behalf of humanity lie upon the verdant ground
In wonder and awe as a witness of this sight

As quickly as it was revealed it is concealed
Nature closes her curtain and the world returns
To the chorus of frogs and the dance of dragonflies
The woman and her escorts are gone
Back behind the shroud of the ancient trees of the forest
The phoenix disappears into the heavens
Shining as radiant and dazzling as the beaming sun
Yet, I remain stunned at this dream, this vision
Wondering at what I have seen as the memories fade
And so, I grab my pen and write furiously
Trying to capture the essence of the epiphany
Of the magic and mystery at work in the world
Masked but to those who sit in the thin spaces
Where heaven and earth are not so far apart

The Image And The Imagination

New Era by Aeon Lux on deviantart.com

New Era by Aeon Lux on deviantart.com

Humanity practices both science and art, two incredibly unique and imaginative processes where we attempt to make sense of the world and our relationship to it. Both science and art rely on imagination and vision. Jacob Bronowski highlighted to me something in our language that is very illuminating about imagination when he says, “I want you to think of the following words: visual, vision, and visionary; and image, imagery and imagination….Almost all the words we use about experiences of the kind that go into visions or images are words connected with the sense of sight.” (Bronowski, 1978, p. 10) That somehow there is something to the way we visually interact with our world is an important part of imagination, since the word image is the root of the word. It is a word that comes from crafting and shaping and playing with images in our own mind. The way we interact with our world is, of course, mediated by our senses: vision, sound, touch, taste and smell and certainly for most of our interactions we rely heavily on vision and sound. Bronowski argues that there are essentially two types of art: those dominated by sight (painting and sculpture for example) and those dominated by sound (music for example) and I would argue that there are some that are reliant on the interaction of both senses (drama, movies, etc.). Science on the other hand is dominated by the visual sense, so we can speak of observations, which refers back to the art of seeing. So perhaps one of the most critical things to imagination is the ability to see, or to interpret the senses in a way that allows the person to make sense of their world and to see alternatives and interpret interactions with it.

The visual process itself is a process of decoding, since our eyes on their own apparently don’t just take a picture and project it into the brain like an old style camera projecting onto film, but rather if Bronowski is correct (and I’m now curious since this is an older work) it would be more like the process that goes on in a digital camera where individual rods and cones in our eyes develop a level of stimulation to the light it receives and sends all the signals back to our brain which then interprets all these signals and assembles the picture in a way that is far more accurate than the individual cellular receptors in the eyes are capable of making. The very process of seeing relies upon the visual part of the brain making inferences about the world it is seeing to make up for the shortcomings in the visual organs, and that compared to most other animals we have a phenomenal portion of our brain dedicated to the process of interpreting visual input.

Combined with this process of interpreting the visual input we receive from our eyes, our brains also allow us to imagine differently-to see alternatives and to attempt to predict based what we currently see and what we have seen before. Part of what makes us such curious animals is our ability to take the images we have and to imagine possible futures, alternatives if you will. In one sense the idea of free will goes back to the idea of “visualizing alternatives and making a choice between them.” (Bronowski, 1978, p. 18) There is a lot to unpack with this revelation that imagination is a function of the process of seeing and interpreting our world and imagining other possible worlds, and that will come but perhaps part of learning to imagine is learning to pay close attention to sight (as well as sound and the other senses) and attend to the images and the possibilities.

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com