Sunday, September 4, 2016


What do you see in this picture?


And in this one?

A shadow and little stream in the first; a beautiful damselfly in the second.

I suspect you did not see this Great Spreadwing in the upper left of the first photo, but I did when I stood there this afternoon. I saw it because of my previous experiences and practiced vision.

I recently watched an episode of Morse with a scene in a stately home's picture gallery. On entering, the detective Morse said, "The pictures. Aren't they beautiful?" The gentleman in the room looked around at the paintings, turned, and replied, "Are they? I live here, so I know they're valuable. But I don't know their beauty. I can't see it." "Pity," Morse responded.

Keith Woods' refined and moving personal essay reminded me again of the different ways we see and feel depending on unique perspectives. The writer comes to new understanding about his father's complex relationship (and his own) to his "flawed homeland," not always visible to others. 

Even the essay's meaning and beauty were not visible to other commenters to the Facebook post of the essay.

I agree with Morse. Pity.

Aired on and published by NPR, the essay is well worth reading and hearing.

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