Annie Dillard’s “Seeing” from her book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is a perfect contrast between physical perception and spiritual understanding. It is a careful blend of beauty, wonder, and philosophical perspectives. She challenges us to examine how we see the world we live in both literally and spiritually. Dillard meticulously describes in great detail how altering how she observed the natural world affected her differently each time; sometimes in a fearful way.
When trying to see a frog that everyone else seemed to have found without much effort she finally asked for help and was told to look for “green,” however, she realized that the color was more like a greenish brown of “wet hickory bark.” What a wonderful way to explain to her readers that sometimes we must narrow the parameters of our sight to see what we aim to see. If we look for a frog among grass, leaves, trees, and a pond we will only see those things; if we look for the color, we see just the things of that color or color variation, and we may just see what we were in pursuit of seeing. Continue reading “All about Perspective and Perception”