Riot of Colour

Several times during the past couple of days it seems that chance, good luck or divine intervention has presented the most amazing experiences. One of these was when the sun came through our skylight and touched on a large bouquet of flowers we had on the table in the great room. The Astramaris (or Alstroemeria) were particularly stunning with their various shades and shadows of yellow and orange.

And this is my personal favourite.

View and purchase full resolution image here.

When we pay attention, there are as many moments to experience amazement as there are moments. Attention is about seeing and feeling each object for the first time. This way it is always fresh and new no matter how many times we have encountered it before. Most often we see habitually using shortcuts developed by our great memories. For example, we can walk through our house without paying attention – and trip over something new that has been placed in a room because we “didn’t see it.” We have developed a habitual way of seeing as we walk from room to room. There are many practices for paying attention. I would like to know yours.

Sprout Question: How do you break free of your habitual way of seeing?

P.S. I also had the good fortune to be at Piggott Bay as a sailing ship was taking a tour of Navy Channel – I’m pretty sure I saw a pirate but you may want to have a look for yourself…

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

19 thoughts on “Riot of Colour

  1. “How do you break free of your habitual way of seeing?”
    I have a great story for you about this. When I was in 6th grade, I was a latchkey kid. When I came home from school, there would be nobody home for several hours until my parents came home. To spend the time I often made up new ways of seeing things.

    I used to hold a small hand mirror up to my hairline and look up into it as it reflected the floor by my feet. Then I tried walking around the house this way without bumping into anything.

    Then I practiced writing backwards in cursive using both of my hands. I can still do this.

    And another way to break habitual ways of seeing: when walking in a crowded city street, practice focusing on your peripheral vision. Don’t focus in front of your feet; instead open up the field of vision to include everything visible. You won’t bump into anything this way.

    • Jessica what a brilliant, delightful full-body sprout response. I see you have a long well traveled practice of breaking free of your habitual way of seeing.

      I often have to shift how I experience the world in crowded streets after being able to walk more freely on Mayne Island. I often say to self “oops! better strengthen and gather that energy field so that people know you are here.” When I do this, people stop bumping into me. Of course I may be using Jessica’s tip and just not known it:)

  2. Beautiful Photographs! You have allowed yourself to see in this instance! The muse of creativity is always present, allowing us to see, if we only look.

    How do you break free of your habitual way of seeing?
    I use me camera and my eyes have begun to see and look for the light and shadows that I may not have seen before.
    There is an exercise or a practice that Starhawk shares in one of her books about being present in the woods/forests, part of that is to expand your peripheral vision by first putting your hands together in front of you, and slowly expanding them, watching with your eyes, pulling your hands as far to your side at eye level where you can still see them. You hands and arms should be almost making across. That is how far you can see without moving your head or body.
    Most of all I see the world around me as a photograph waiting to be taken.

    I am Love, Jeff

    • Jeff this is awesome… another outstanding sprout response! I get so excited when we can go deep into a conversation from a sprout question… providing a stream of ideas for sharing.

      There is something about realizing that we see mostly using our peripheral vision. It provides context and relationship between the objects around us. The area “in focus” is just a tiny point of what is available to us when we engage our awareness of peripheral vision. I once new the actual percentages but that information escapes me at the moment.

  3. I am very comfortable with the familiar. It doesn’t worry me that I’ve been there done that. However, occassionally when I need change I find time and space helpful.
    Encountering the familiar during an unfamiliar time. For example, I usually go for a walk around 3 pm. Today I went for my walk at 8 am. The world at that hour is so full of “new”.
    And regarding using space, I find that when I go “off-island”, when I have a break from the familiar, I return with fresh eyes.

    • Leanne, another bountiful sprout addition. Thank you.

      The changing of routine and experiencing the same places at different times of day and in different seasons has been one of most used practices of breaking free of my habitual way of seeing something. The changing light and smells seem to trigger a new fresh looking and feeling.

  4. Terrill – These photographs took my breath away; they are stunning.

    Sprout Question: How do you break free of your habitual way of seeing?

    Although I’m not a minimalist in the truest sense of the word, I have few “things.” For me, this enhances personal gratitude — my way of paying sincere attention.

    • Laurie I think you have hit one a hugely important part of being able to pay attention… reduce the stimuli we are experiencing. And thank you for your feedback.

      These photos almost took themselves. Very little editing was required. I had a hard time keeping my blog focus today though and not adding in some fun but not very good photos of a family of geese going for an early morning swim yesterday. Maybe if time permits I will do a slide show of those photos and post them on Saturday… we shall see… no promises.

  5. The astramaris are gorgeous, and what a feast for the eyes you have showcased with those May flowers. The one you chose as your favorite is indeed the one I would have chose as well.

    The old adage that we “see what we want to see” is applicable to our sense of what’s beautiful. It’s a personal aesthetic that is formed over a period of time, and it could be rightly seen as something that may be different than what we are usually exposed to. It’s that grasp for something off the beacon path, and the desire to try something new.

    • Thank you Sam:) Your comments about “a personal aesthetic” pique my interest. I am asking myself do I have a personal aesthetic and if so what is it? Oh my what a great sprout discussion this could be. Hum, I think I will muse on your offering for awhile….

  6. Love the color. It almost makes you want to draw in your breath sharply at the stunning beauty.

    How do I break free from my habitual way of seeing? I like to sweep the eye across the horizon without thought, allowing the wordless knowing to see what it wants to see. To be ready to be completely surprised! The same way with writing…to be an open vessel and ready to gasp at what comes through.

    • Thank you Kath. Your blogs show your ability to break free through this practice so well. Ta da! another outstanding suggestion!

      I like to sit still for a few moments and then all the wonders start appear… writing I am not as well practiced. I tend to have written three or five drafts in my head before it comes out the end of my fingers.

      • I admire you for writing those three to five drafts. How different we all are! It’s like we’re all different colors of the rainbow…

        • So true isn’t Kathy. I used to think that I didn’t edit my work much and that I didn’t write drafts… it just flowed out. But then I tuned in deeply and realized that a part of my brain spent it time writing and arranging so that my fingers could type freely later. It is something I do effortlessly but it still is part of the process.

  7. Sprout Question: How do you break free of your habitual way of seeing?

    change always alters the way we se something and can break us out of our habitual way of seeing. switching to my non dominant hand, changing my perspective, ( sitting on the floor looking up at a subject or looking down from above ect. ) speeding up or slowing down the process, altering the lighting and limiting the pallet are some things i do to break my habitual way of seeing.

    • Thank you Jerry for your excellent suggestions! I’m so glad you were able to make it by.

      I remember the first time I discovered an arm wasn’t straight – what a surprise that was. It happened in one of my first figure drawing class. Just see how the model’s arm hung down from their body was like I had never seen an arm before.

  8. Pingback: Monday Morning Diary (May 17) « Wonders in the Dark

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.