Archive for November 6th, 2013

November 6, 2013

How to See the World Like an Artist

Have I mentioned what a big fan I am of Brain Pickings? If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do. This article from Maria Popova discusses the ways in which we are blind to the world that surrounds us. It delves into seeing our own world with artistic eyes, allowing us to be better, more creative writers, comedians, artists, and filmmakers:

“How we spend our days,” Annie Dillard wrote in her timelessly beautiful meditation on presence over productivity“is, of course, how we spend our lives.” And nowhere do we fail at the art of presence most miserably and most tragically than in urban life — in the city, high on the cult of productivity, where we float past each other, past the buildings and trees and the little boy in the purple pants, past life itself, cut off from the breathing of the world by iPhone earbuds and solipsism. And yet: “The art of seeing has to be learned,” Marguerite Duras reverberates — and it can be learned, as cognitive scientist Alexandra Horowitz invites us to believe in her breathlessly wonderful On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes (public library) — a record of her quest to walk around a city block with eleven different “experts,” from an artist to a geologist to a dog, and emerge with fresh eyes mesmerized by the previously unseen fascinations of a familiar world.

Popova quotes from the book:

Right now, you are missing the vast majority of what is happening around you. You are missing the events unfolding in your body, in the distance, and right in front of you.

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November 6, 2013

Quote of the Day: Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the times in which it is used.