Views change in different conditions.
What an ambiguous statement. Do I mean views as in opinions? Or views as in vistas?
Actually this morning I mean vistas. I was walking Charlie along a familiar route, but the weather was very misty and very cold – snow topped with a heavy frost on the ground. The visibility was about 200 yards and I realised what a difference it made to how I normally view the scenery (yes, I did mean that!). What was normally prosaic and mundane became somehow magical. The track down to the farm that is normally just a track down to the farm became a track shrouded in mystery (mistery???) with a destination unknown and unknowable unless you followed its path. It was enticing and I felt tempted to walk along it. The trees, which I normally see within a landscape that stretches way beyond them, became the limit of my vision. They were now the boundary of my visible world. Crossing the road became a task of judgement – of trying to listen more and rely less on my eyes.
I realised that there are positives in this narrowing of vision – this closing in of our world – as well as negatives. The negatives were all too obvious. What was normally a comparatively safe thing to do ie crossing the road, became problematical and more risky. There was a shorter period of being able to adapt or amend or alter your actions because visibility was reduced significantly. Therefore you had to be ‘on your toes’ and aware of things in a much more immediate way, employing other senses rather than the eyes.
On the other hand, my attention was drawn much more particularly to objects closer at hand than perhaps I would normally focus on. The trees against the mist were so beautiful – their skeletal forms etched starkly but yet with wisps of mist blurring the outlines in places. The frost on the snow was clear, and crisp and also very beautiful. The ice on the puddles was a feature on its own, not getting lost in the myriad of other things to take my attention. The few birds that flew into and out of my vision became much more prominent because other birds could not be seen. Their sudden appearance and disappearance was far more unsettling because it was unannounced and unexpected because of my limited vision.
I realised when I got home and involved in my weaving samples that a similar affect happens to us when we are caught up in the clutches of a particular train of thought or study. We lose the bigger vision and focus on the details of what we are doing. That is both positive and negative, and the important thing to remember is that, sooner or later, we need to think bigger again and regain our overview in order to put our thoughts into perspective.
Hmmm. And all because it was misty this morning!
Often when I sit at the loom weaving, I like less and less what I see happening there. Part of it, of course, is that what it looks like on the loom and what it looks like off and wet-finished are two different things, so I try hard not to make judgments while weaving. But I think also the issue is one of always looking at it from such a close perspective. Sometimes when I walk quickly past the loom which has weaving on it and accidentally give it a casual glance, the fabric looks much more pleasing! Also, did you know that when doing close work it is good to rest the eyes by looking as far away as possible, preferably out the window?
You make a good point, Peg. Quite often when I’m teaching, I’ll encourage students to get up and move to the side to look at their work, or at a different angle than straight onto the fabric. They are always astounded at the difference that can make to their design.
I totally agree with the resting of the eyes by focusing at a different distance – that’s one way to get away with day-dreaming!!