Saturday, October 13, 2007


Fall has arrived at last. The air is crisp and cool, the sky is a perfect shade of cerulean blue. If only we'd had some rain, the trees would now be able to launch into their dramatic autumnal swan song. As it is, they're just too feeble from thirst to do much more than drop their dried out, brownish leaves. Oh well, nothing is ever perfect, is it? Still, it's gorgeous out there.

Once the humidity clears at the end of summer or in this case halfway through October, everything in the visual field becomes sharper, more vivid, and precisely defined. The clarity of vision that's part of every autumn has a profound effect on my neural network - and therefore also on my heart and soul.

Every shadow, every reflection on a fall day like today is refined to perfection, exquisite in every detail - so unlike the orange, hazy shadows and shapes that attend a hot, humid day at the end of a terrible summertime drought. The seasonal change in my visual field has a huge impact on what I notice when I'm out for my walk. What I notice, what I look at (and photograph) changes what I think about as I wander around. How could it not?

I think the connection between thought and visual acuity can be attributed to a rarely ackowledged fact: that eyes are literally part of the brain. Now I know anatomy texts say eyes are accessories to the grey matter, but think about it - the eyes are tucked in, peeking at the world from directly beneath the frontal lobes. There's not a millimeter of distance between your cerebral cortex and your eyeballs. The optic nerve is embedded deep inside the grey goop, extending to the very center of your head. Eyes are the brain's visual array. How can anyone imagine they're separate?

Making certain that I frequent places where I can take in beautiful sights (whenever possible) is part of my Plan to Stay Sane. Every day I purposely scan (as if my eyes were on stalks extended out into space) for the healing shapes, colors, pleasing angles and curves.

In fall, it's so much easier to access visual beauty, even in a drought, despite or maybe because of the waning light. I love fall.


Barbara said...

Just imagine how much more you could see if you had the magical eye of Mad-Eye Moody that could see in all directions at once. What a blast!

You still see many things that most of us simply overlook! :)

kimy said...

lovely post....thought of jan phillips book 'god is at eye level' while reading your reflections. if you aren't familiar w/ it check it may enjoy it. so happy I discovered your blog. have a great time wed. and hug HH for me!

Lynne said...

I think more clearly when it's cool outside. Things seem brighter, without that humidity haze hanging around.

I tried to blow the rain your way, I really did! Sorry it didn't make it down there. We had a nice soaking.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thirst is just what IS this year in DC. I keep trying to live with that, while meanwhile shaking my rain stick every time I walk outside.

Kimy I'll check out the book - sounds great.

Scenic Artisan said...

your photos are always beautiful.

Gary said...

Yippee, finally a chill in the air!