Saturday, May 10, 2008

What I saw from Rodborough Common

I've always had bad eyesight...
One lazy eye, which is also very short sighted, meant an early childhood of patches, eyedrops and those horrible NHS glasses with pink plastic frames. With my teens came contact lenses and a whole new world of effortless vision - but by then I'd got used to the idea that I wasn't "a visual person", my creative outlets were verbal and musical and that was that. When I met Longsuffering Clockmaker, he rather prided himself on the fact that because his work involves frequent changes in focus, from the very intricate parts of clock work to the normal everyday seeing required in any office, his eye muscles were well exercised - which was, apparently, going to protect him from needing glasses for ever more!

Fast forward 20 years and yes, he does indeed need specs while I need to remove mine to see things that are close at hand. However, in the interim I've become the delighted owner of a digital camera and suddenly discovered that it's OK to take imperfect photos, to experiement, to delete...Someone once described this blog as "visual" and that brought me up short. Remember, I'm not a "visual person"!
But since then I've loved the process of simply gazing as I walk...of stopping with the camera...constantly shifting focus from the miniscule to the wider horizon.
I was specially aware of this yesterday
, a near perfect May afternoon, as Mufti and I explored the common. In the distance I could see across the glinting silver of the Severn into Wales, or, in the other direction, I could look down on my own parish, close-packed into the valley, and reflect on the lives going on far below (Church in the valley is the tower towards the middle of this really is my patch)

I could exult in the multitude of cowslips that turned patches of common yellow-gold or concentrate my gaze on tiny speedwells, anenomes and wild orchids at my feet. There was so much to see, so much to delight in, near and far...the minutae and the big picture. Of course I couldn't and didn't see it all, but what I did notice gave me great joy. Perhaps I'm learning to see at last.


Songbird said...

Hope I'll take that walk with you sometime, looks lovely!

Sophia said...


I'm a strong auditory learner and processor with crummy eyesight... yet I'm very into (and actually good at!) liturgics, which so much about the visual... you never know!

MMP said...

.....lovely to remember the times when my parents would mow around the clumps of cowslips on our lawn.....