Observation of New Things

It's about 30 minutes before dawn.  I hear a wild goose off in the distance, and then my neighbor cough. Now and then a car passing on the distant street. My thoughts come and go.  I feel I should grab one of those thoughts, wrestle it into submission, and present it as a blog post.

But that can wait.  For now, I'd rather just watch the night turn into day.  The refrigerator comes on.  The furnace creaks.  I hear wind chimes from across the yard.

The sky is light enough the trees are silhouetted against it now.  The early dawn.

I think an odd thing about observation is that we so often want to give it a purpose and then guide it. By guide it, I mean we want to weed out some of what's happening because it doesn't fit in with our purpose -- with what we're looking for.  Then, too, we want to hold onto other parts of what's happening because those parts actually fit our purpose.

Yet -- when we observe with a purpose in mind -- we more or less observe what we expect to observe.

I've lived in this cottage for almost a year now, and this morning was the first time I've noticed how many wind chimes there are in my immediate neighborhood.  I wasn't expecting to notice them, though.  I was instead having one of those rare moments when you observe without much in the way of expecting anything. 
 
It seems to me that it can be extraordinarily difficult to observe without any purpose.  For the most part, we're looking for something.  Often, that "something" is beauty, pleasure, or whatever we expect to find because we've seen it before.  But whatever it is, we are actively looking for it.

Still, it's in those rarer moments when we are not looking for anything -- when we do not seek beauty, pleasure, or this or that thing -- that we are most likely to discover the new.

7 comments:

  1. This is the type of post I wish I were capable of writing on a regular basis. It makes you think about how extraordinary the ordinary can be with just the right perspective. It should be easy since that is the way I tend to look at life. Go figure.

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  2. Honestly, Doug, I've quite often wished I could write as passionately and truthfully about politics as you do. I've even mentioned your blog, while bitching to some of my friends that the knack for what you do escapes me. So, I guess we must have a mutual admiration society going here. LOL!

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  3. Enjoyable image. Thanks for sharing your morning.

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  4. Beautiful thoughts Mr. Sunstone. Thanks for sharing - I look forward to reading them in verse!

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  5. "I think an odd thing about observation is that we so often want to give it a purpose and then guide it. By guide it, I mean we want to weed out some of what's happening because it doesn't fit in with our purpose -- with what we're looking for. Then, too, we want to hold onto other parts of what's happening because those parts actually fit our purpose."

    Beautifully said.

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  6. On the other hand, since I've discovered "birding" and increased my awareness, I've seen all kinds of things I never saw before, or even dreamed of seeing. The critical aspect seems to be opening our awareness, however we manage to do that.

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Comments Welcome -- but no flaming. If you wish, you can email me at paul_sunstone@q.com