Sunday, March 8, 2009
Hidden in Plain Sight
There is a clear sky as I look up from the patio, a somewhat discolored concrete slab stretching the length of our unit at the back of our condo. I notice first how the water level in the pond that is immediately out our back door has fallen dramatically. We are in drought conditions here in Florida right now and my eyes trace the contours of the sloping bank around the little body of water shaped like an inverted comment cloud. The green on the bank stops about 4 or 5 feet from the water's edge where there is a soot-black residue, lying between the water and the khaki dust on the slope, presenting a picture suggesting a partially burned edge. It's about half-past nine in the morning and the birds are chirping up their orders and going about their daily chores; for some reason I can still smell the mown grass and the surface of the pond betrays no wind. And then, suddenly, as though it lept into my vision....I spy a stationary morning dove standing by the edge of the pond in a haute cuture design matching the color of the taupe beach, now wrung dry of its moisture. I couldn't make out any sound but its body language admitted of being perplexed, tilting its tiny head now this way, now that. For no more bigger than it was, it made a disproportionate entrance into my field of vision. But, then, isn't that what noticing is all about; isn't that just how it happens. Noticing does not consist of merely checking off the items in view as we come to them; our vision is a field of vision with its own hermeneutic principles drawn from the very recesses of our own souls, the forgotten chambers of our minds, and the crevices that hide the pain in our bodies. We notice things according to our own system of relevances and what is important to us or has impressed upon us its meaning is relevant. So I see this tiny life and wonder: "who is that little boy looking so lonely on the beach?"