Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Art as metaphor for life

I read this quote, "there is a difference between what we see and what we are aware of" at the beginning of  How To Read Water by Tristan Gooley.  I know there is a lot going on in art and in life that we either fail to notice, or choose not to notice. So in art and in life, what is the difference between seeing and being aware?

A dream image.  What are you seeing?
A horse running, a dog tied up, more horses inside 
a small fenced area, a woman picking up something,
 a tree, birds in a turbulent sky.

Our mind struggles to make a sensible story of this
and so we add in the impressions of our feelings. 
The horse is charging aggressively toward you.

The dog is friendly and secure,
but likely in danger from
being trampled by the horse.  

The other horses are in a cramped, small pen,
  when the entire area is also fenced. 

Why isn't the woman doing something 
about all this?
Why didn't she stop it?

So this is what we see, and this
 is what we either fail or choose not to notice.

Is the horse angry, or in a panic?

Is the dog really tied up?

The small pen has wire that only comes
to the horse's knees, so are they 
able to leave with just a little effort?

When we are aware of the feelings, assumptions and expectations we are bringing to a situation, we are able to do more than see it.  We are awake to what is going on, separate from our first impressions.  

Just like the messages in an oracle card reading require us to experience loss of comfort, heightened alertness and unexpected discoveries, we discover a depth and layering of revelation when we are aware of what we are seeing.  

Being aware of what we are seeing in art becomes a metaphor for being aware in life. And that awareness is able to expand and transform into meaningful action and self-knowledge.