See, – in front of me

I have eyes and I do see
 whatever there is in front of me
The light in the dark
 the long road ahead
 a bird on a tree
 the thoughts in my head
 fog obscuring my heart
 a flower and a bee
 I see all this in front of me
The sunrise this morning
 thunder and lightening
 rain and then hail
 a note in the mail
 a smile that was lost
 tears in their eyes
 destruction at all cost
The poor and the weary
 the hungry and scared
 those that have lost someone
 and those that are dead
 a stick in the hand
 and a bag on the shoulder
 I see all that looking ahead
The bounce of a ball
 hate in their eyes
 a future uncertain
 a child that cries
 a gun to the head
 a knife at the throat
 all I see very, very load
Misguided people, selfish agendas
 ignored values, shunned respect
 heralding their own importance and splendour
 vaccination by bullets and bombs
 sinking into the deepest debt
 creators of the generation of lost ones
 inept at seeing or reading life's map
What's in the back I can't see unless I turn
 mistakes, lectures and memories galore
 and then what would I gain in return
 all things I can't change and have no more
 when I look back I awaken the past
 ahead is my way I must move on
 to the bridge of my future not the shore of my past
The smile of a stranger
 the arms of my lover
 a happy home 
 and a jolly mood
 the beam of the son as he finds his father
 a kid with a plate full of food
 threatened by insanity of war, crime and danger
Hundreds of channels filled with confusion
 I have eyes that do see 
 and I can't live in total exclusion
 but when I look I can choose where to dwell
 and shape my own destiny
 I shall not fall under media's spell
 jealously guarding my right to be
I have eyes and I do see
 whatever there is in front of me

keep on seeing

Zambia 2007 1247


Seeing ‘nothing’ unhinges me. Seeing ‘something’ grounds me. And yet, often I want to see ‘nothing’ or hear ‘nothing,’ even think ‘nothing.’ Perhaps that is why so much of ‘nothing’ happens in my life. Nothing actually brings a whole horde of undesirable things with it if you’re not vigilant. Clueless and lost are just a few.
Unless a pilot is qualified and the aircraft equipped, flying into ‘nothing’ generally means you have about twenty seconds before it all goes pear shaped and ends in disaster. In aviation speak they would say you have flown into Instrument conditions. So amongst other things, ‘nothing’ is actually also dangerous.

Seeing means stability.

Seeing however goes so much further than the physical sense of seeing with the eyes. We construct images before our m-eye (mind eye) too, when we think.
Remember the phrase ‘as far as the eye can see? Well, we all know that there is something beyond what the eye can see too. All you have to do is climb on a chair and suddenly you see so much more, and so on, and then of course there is all the ethereal stuff.
Now I close my eyes and I think. First I think of stuff that is tangibly real and that I have seen before. But, soon enough, letting my thoughts take wings, I think of stuff that is more and more far-fetched. I see stuff that defies laws of physics because I have left the physical realm. No matter where I am though, I always see.

In a sense I would like to say that seeing is being.

Just as I know that there is so much more to see which I can’t see from my present position surely I can also know that there is so much more to think which I am not thinking from my current standpoint. And we all know that there is so much more to know which we don’t know.
Knowing all the above, surely I can then postulate: that in everything in my life there is more to it than what I see at this moment, more than meets the eye.
It stands to reason then that all I need to do is shift my position to see more and different and think more and different.

And seeing is believing.

In other words even if I see it in my m-eye, in my thoughts, I can believe it. Often what I see in my mind is ‘unrealistic stuff,’ but it is only so because I measure it with the yardstick of what is possible in my physical reality and as I have just seen, just because something isn’t visible (climb onto the chair) doesn’t mean it doesn’t/can’t exist and be seen.
While my favourite is to say, ‘keep on dreaming,’ for those with the feet somewhat firmer on the ground I’ll say, ‘keep on seeing.’

observing without mind

When I take time to observe, – do I in fact observe the spinning yarn of my mind or do I actually recognise what is presented in front of me?
Do I see what I want to see or what is there? Do I listen or do I hear what I want to hear?
Can I observe without dictating my observation?
Can I be, for a while, an observer not influenced by my ego, my mind, my emotions?

My racing mind has been in overdrive most of my life. It has conjured stories, distorted facts and has often been like a runaway train. Plenty a times my observation happened with a glass in my hand or through the green smoke of a reefer. Instead of letting impressions sink in, I was, or became, too emotionally involved to see the moment. I was not an observer. I was a participant on some drive towards a forced outcome of my determination.

But what is observing really?
I have watched a Bushman in a remote region of western Botswana that I was fortunate enough to have shared some time with. Bushmen are the people who inhabited southern Africa long before others migrated down from the northern interior of Africa, or before explorers anchored their ships along South Africa’s Indian ocean coastline. I have always been fascinated by these people who can survive and live a life entirely in nature, understanding the purpose of each plant and animal, living completely without any technology whatsoever and who are (largely) untouched by modern life.

I saw how he observed the land below him when he sat in a shady spot on a cliff or some lookout point, patiently waiting for something to happen in what we westerners would describe as a world filled with lots of nothing. And at a glance there is nothing that happens. It all looks the same. Acacia trees, bush and sand as far as the eye can see. The real observer however, who doesn’t focus on what they want to see, like wishing for an Eland or an Elephant or a Springbok, they wait, and they will eventually be rewarded with the sight of a Bateleur eagle and circling vultures, skittish duiker and Gemsbok, a snake and much more, and wont walk away from that scene saying that they saw nothing. The Bushman would sit there and let it happen upon him with the patience of Job, – he would observe. He came to look, not to put there with his mind. And, while he looks and observes, he doesn’t think because then he doesn’t see.

I create with my mind what I want my life to be. I also control and I dictate. Seldom do I take time and observe. Seldom do I relinquish control of my mind and watch what the rest of my being has to say without the ‘boss,’ my mind, constantly interfering and adjusting and knowing better.

How can I observe in this busy, tumultuous life full of demands and stress?
I take time out to meditate. In my meditation, once my mind has calmed down through focus on breathing, I have a phase when I observe. In that phase I become like a Bushman. What I see happens upon me. It comes from within, undirected, un-choreographed. It is different for every meditation. It is the source of a perennial spring that is fascinating. Every session, every observation reveals something born from deep within my soul.

Next time just observe, you’ll be amazed what transpires.