Three pictures that I wanted to post this fall, that I never got around to:

I don’t know why–I knew I liked them, and wanted to see them archived. Maybe I would find them the following season. But I also know that I liked these photos because they reminded me of an act of seeing, that the artifact stood in for how I related to something with my own eyes. The photos exist to point: to a moment of observational capacity, openness and fulfillment that is far less communicable.

I’ve been thinking again about what it means to be a naturalist; one answer I’ve arrived at is that a naturalist is someone who observes uncontrolled situations for their own sake. The qualifier uncontrolled does the work, for me, of a more traditional definition of nature: nature is not just that which is opposed to the human. I believe so strongly in this observational component, I am willing to bend quite a bit on my definition of nature. Streets are a fine place, as long as you look. The point is to look with such unrelenting commitment that your vision starts to get strange, to be OK with taking away (only, only!) the impression and go no further. To rest in what cannot be communicated.

Tags vision looking nature naturalist