Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Seeing Blue

I actually couldn’t see it. Not at all.
As we walked through the snowy landscape, Ponczka called to my attention the vibrant blue of the shadows on the snow.
That’s not blue, I said.
Of course it is. It’s a rich, bright blue, she insisted.
I don’t see blue.
Well, what color do you see? Which forced me to look more closely, and to think about it.
And honestly, I can’t say what it is I thought I was seeing. But what I realized is that I was seeing something much more related to what I thought I should be seeing than to what was actually before me.
I had thoughts in my head about what shadows are, that they represent a blocking of the light, a darkness. I had it in my head that shadows are essentially an absence of light, that they are black. Or, at least a black-ness, superimposed upon whatever color the shadow fell on.
This is what my mind thought – vague as that is. So that is what my eyes saw. My mind had no room for perceiving blue, either in the snow or in the shadow. So my mind didn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t see the blue.
Until – at Ponczka’s urging – I looked, looked some more, looked again.
Even then, I could only kind of see the blue. It took some practice. And then, two days later, I looked at a photo, and the bright, vibrant blue leapt out at me.
To think of all the sights and sounds and smells and touches and other phenomena that I’ve thought into the world – or out of it.
What else do I think I know, that I don’t know at all?

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