Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Guest Post of Sorts

I'm going to let John Dufresne speak for me tonight. This is from his book The Lie That Tells A Truth. I have been wholly absorbed in it for hours this evening. If you write, you should probably read it. He is a dangerous man. He makes me believe I could possibly write fiction, but that's another post.

This evening, he will speak to us about seeing.

We see what we expect to see, what we want to see, what interests us. We focus on the conspicuous features in our environment and filter out the details that don't apply to our purposes. We are attracted to what moves, to what is large, bright, incongruous, to what is new, to what seems beautiful. But as the artist Robert Henri reminds us: "No thing is beautiful. But all things await the sensitive and imaginative mind that may be aroused to pleasurable emotion at the sight of them. This is beauty." And this is seeing. When you have seen something beautiful, you have looked at it beautifully. When you look closely at things, you see what is unique about them, what is surprising and deserving of your attention.

I love this man for obvious reasons. What are you seeing? Discuss. 

13 comments:

  1. I think I'm seeing a book that I need to buy.

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    1. Oh you should! It is a good read whether you're interested in writing or not. But for writers it's a must-read!

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    2. Me too - and I did buy it - based on your earlier comments about it! It is waiting to be read but it will happen soon.

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  2. I actually checked the book out of the library after the first time you mentioned it. It's sitting behind me right now waiting patiently for me to finish Creative Is a Verb.

    This is a great reminder about perspective and that thing you do so well--noticing.

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    1. I am reading both this and Creative is a Verb simultaneously. It is almost more inspiration and encouragement than I can handle.

      As a fellow "noticer" I think you would just LOVE this book.

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  3. The thing that popped into my mind wasn't writing, but Larissa's photography. She takes such beautiful pictures of things that we just walk by everyday without even noticing.
    I'm going to the library today and will be looking for this.

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    1. Jewels, I was thinking the same thing about Larissa's photography. He also has a whole section in there about writing from photographs that is fascinating. I think you (both) would really enjoy it.

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    1. Ha! I'm pretty sure he wrote it just for me sometimes. There's another, longer quote in this section where he talks about peripheral vision and I laughed and thought he might like to read my blog. That would be kind of embarrassing, though.

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  5. I am seeing change. Bare trees to green trees, rose branches budding out, days getting longer, wrinkles getting a bit deeper, kids getting older (but not me).

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  6. Wow he put into words what I've been telling my sons about art for years.

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  7. There is a stretch of Interstate 80 through the southern portion of Wyoming. I cannot tell you how many times I've heard what a boring, ugly drive that stretch of road is. Every time I take it, I think to myself, "How could anyone miss the beauty here?" There is SO much that makes it stunning, rugged, glorious!

    "No thing is beautiful."

    Wowwie.

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Thanks for reading and taking the time to say hello!