Seeing is of course very much a matter of verbalization. Unless I call my attention to what passes before my eyes, I simply won’t see it….When I see this way, I analyze and pry. I hurl over logs and roll away stones; I study the bank a square foot at a time, probing and tilting my head.
But there is another kind of seeing that involves a letting go. When I see this way I sway transfixed and emptied.
I’ve long believed that seeing is key to our lives, key to our humanity. Annie Dillard’s quote reminds us that the first step to being human is to see things for what they are, to call each thing by its right name, as Pasternak wrote. To do this we must be attuned, we must raise our eyes from our screens, we must listen and sit.