I was camping recently, on the east side of the Olympic Peninsula – a gorgeous place with rushing rivers, slanting sunlight through green trees and berries, rocks and cliffs and mountains. One day I was sitting with my feet soaking in the river, gazing up at the trees. There are times when I feel like what I am seeing is imprinting itself on my mind, something like a photographic memory, except it only happens in nature, mostly.
It’s as if there are deep archetypal patterns in my mind that are empty from working indoors all day, dealing with technology and artificiality, driving in traffic and cities. I’ll be out looking around at nature and some form or shape will strike me, and I can look at it for a long time. The longer I look, the more it is as if some essence of the tree or rock is filling up those empty spaces and replenishing them.
My eyes don’t move, they don’t traverse the form, it’s not about scanning the landscape…. more like an osmosis of the whole. I can’t do it from behind a camera, but sometimes it does happen quickly, when I’m walking along a trail, perhaps – something strikes me and imprints quickly… and then I am walking past, but with the image still in my mind, turning it over, savoring it.
What is this like for you?