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The Way We See

“Photography is the art of observation.

It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

- Elliott Erwitt -

Driving down the twisting road on Mt. Lemmon, we stopped at an overlook. The huge mountain-ringed valley where Tucson nestles was in full spring bloom, a chartreuse yellow blanket flowing over the washes, hills, and flatlands.

I pointed to the northeastern-most corner of the valley and declared, “That is where I want to live.” Barry looked at me. “Really?”

The next day I drove around by myself, writing down street names. I wrote our realtor and gave her the boundaries of the area where our land was waiting. Eleven listings showed up in my email a few days later. A long-time friend said he’d split a larger piece of land with us, and suddenly we became a team.

Two months later, we were landowners. Barry has spent months designing our small homes down to the tiniest detail, engineering and environmental reports have been gathered, and now the building permit applications are at the county. Subcontractors are giving bids, thanks to our friend’s diligence and intrepid personality. Our homes are becoming a reality. The northeastern-most corner of the valley is where I will live.

When I took the above photograph, I only noticed the hill behind me reflected in the delicate curtain’s whiteness. I didn’t see the darkness of the room behind the curtain, or the hills around the curved adobe corner. Any vista, problem, or challenge has multiple parts within its wholeness.

The way I see a situation or another person, and the thoughts and words I choose to express that seeing are paramount to creating my life. It is the crux to connecting to others, and how to “be” in this world. This ongoing practice encompasses a continual tuning-in all to my different ways of knowing and discerning, my values and concerns— an internal and external “seeing and sensing” of the present.

The key is to remember you and I are creators: to be incredibly mindful of how we take in what we physically see and experience, to choose intentional thoughts, words, and actions. To stay open to intuition, synchronicity, and assistance, and find infinite opportunities to choose love, kindness, civility, and generosity. More powerful than we believe, we are ongoing creations that continually create our world, even as it constantly shifts between turbulence and beauty, despair and unbearable joy.


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