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I am UmberDove.

And by that, I mean an artist.  One who hears stories in the wind, who paints because it is what her soul tells her to do, who smiths because the muse moves through her fingertips, who loves nothing more than the promise of an unexplored trail, the sound of the ocean in her ears, and scent of a serious cup of coffee.


On the Art of Seeing


I just reread the chapter in Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek entitled "Seeing."  And "Seeing" has got me "thinking."

I know the way I see, and therefore experience life, is unique to me alone.  The sights that stop me in my tracks might mean nothing to someone else, and knowing that, I am ever grateful for the sense of seeing that I possess.  The ferns I have watched unfurl, an entire being uncoiling from a single spore smaller than the iris of my eye, the complete ecosystems that reside within a two inch square at the heart of a decaying redwood, these thing give me fodder to chew over for hours, no, days to come.  In the vast filing system of my mind there is a single tree clinging to a massive rock at sea, a vibrant purple sunset with perfectly vertical sheets of thunderstorms closing in, one young doe watching me in the Sierra Azul foothills, a deceased seal awaiting the carrion birds with the most stunning striated white markings.  

And the moss.  But you already know about me and the moss.

On a typical rainy day in the Chinatown district of San Francisco, in the midst of chattering throngs, whole smoked ducks, cheap slippers piled three feet high and the stench of the public, I found a bright orange bead stamped with symbols of good fortune in the muddy gutter.  I opened my eyes a little wider and found six more.  Good fortune, laying in the street, free for anyone who took the time to see.  

I am lucky.

"To look at any thing
If you would know that thing,
You must look at it long:

To look at this green and say
"I have seen Spring in these Woods"
Will not do.

You must be the thing you see;
You must be the dark snakes
  of stems and ferny plumes
  of leaves.

You must enter in
To the small silences between
  the leaves,

You must take your time
And touch the very place
  they issue from."

- J. Moffit