Monthly Archives: December 2014

To look up…


Matthew Brannon’s Last to Know at the Denver Art Museum

Sometimes I forget to look up. I’m a crow of sorts, looking at my footing, letting shiny objects catch my eye at the ground-level. Finding pennies, paper-clips, trash, and always, always snatching them to see up close, to rub their texture. When I find coins, I remember, and give thanks for, my abundance.

I like seeing microscopic through the lens of touch, expanding the experience into a macro view.

But it’s really beautiful up there too, in the sky. Up there, where we don’t go, where we can’t get to, where we can’t touch, only see. It’s soft and squishy in the clouds. Or it’s light that’s closer to the source of light. It’s the way to the sun, our pre-eminent shadow maker.

Sometimes I get stuck in the details, my daily schedule, my immediate needs, what I’ll make for dinner, what my fingers are sensing. I only see what is within reach. I only think experientially.  I forget to look past the perimeter of my body, to see the horizon, the future, the path that I’m traveling on but haven’t navigated yet. I forget to get beyond my  body and use the abstract thought that makes us see new perspectives. I need to get up on my desk, like Cider House boarding school students and shout out “My Captain!” I need to lie down like school-kids at the MASS MoCA art museum, and absorb color arranged in symmetrical patterns in the space (by Teresita Fernandez in the show “As Above, So Below.”)

If I look up, I might see things in a lighter way. I might see where to go next. I could possibly begin to imagine things and places that I’ve never been and aspire to. There’s a parallel for this thought in meditation. It’s called “ascension”. I suppose the reason is because we rise above our mundane lives and enter into a new perspective. By climbing above it all, we see the openings, the portals, the ways out of the trash and litter on the ground. The ways through our myopic vision.

Looking up is kind of like looking forward. And looking forward, I see that I will be growing, changing, and also aging. I want to look into those clouds of the future, knowing that I haven’t touched them yet, but I will soon. I want, every moment, to grow old auspiciously, with a prescience that comes from studying what I can only see from afar. I can, perhaps, see the way to age gracefully, the happiness I could have, in both this moment and the coming future…

And if I just look up.