Looking … Seeing

I enjoy the difference between those two words. We all look at things. Our eyes take in the colours and shapes before us. No big deal. The big deal is seeing … absorbing, making connections, feeling empathy with the people seen, going to the very centre of what is beheld and lingering there. I like seeing.

Take this street scene in Ghent. There is much to see and reflect upon. I’m tempted to not say a thing about the photo, and just let you discover. Hmm … good idea. You take a few minutes. I’ll get a coffee.


Okay, I’m back. I’ll tell you what I see. First of all, if you can enlarge this picture on your phone or laptop, that will be helpful. The discoveries will still be good if you can’t.

I love curves … also windows. So many of the windows in Ghent have a little curve on the top edge. Passageways as well. It’s also très cool to have brick walls, plus so many colours of brick. And how about windows that are set into the roof? Things that suggest an artistic flair.

When I think of buildings in Canada, everything seems horizontal meeting vertical. How amazing to have diamond shapes show up on a wall. And the roofline of that building isn’t straight. There’s an angle there.

Now for the cool semi-hidden stuff, which will be vivid if you can enlarge: Look near the right edge of the photo. One of the windows is stained glass – barely visible from the outside. But what must it be like to be sitting in there on a sunny day?! I say marvelous.

Finally (Now wait a minute – this isn’t final. Who knows what other mysteries may show up?)

Somewhat finally, gaze at the orange brick wall. Someone is happy to be seeing from above, perhaps blessing us who pass by. And I wonder what is hanging from her mouth.

Only a few homes on only one street in only one city

May we open our eyes wherever we are

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