Hallelujah thanks you for GAZING upon her! Hallelujah desires both to SEE and BE SEEN.
Right now, she asks you to consider how YOUR EDUCATION and everyone else’s education impacts our ABILITY to SEE.
Before beginning this contemplation on education and seeing, Hallelujah wishes to acknowledge her friend “SEE-SEE,” who had her read a chapter from Elif Safak’s 2000 novel, “THE GAZE,” and who led a discussion one recent night about SEEING and BEING SEEN in a group of female artists. Many thanks SEE-SEE!
Although Hallelujah had many responses to what her fellow artists said on this topic, for now, she wants to talk about: How our EDUCATION affects how we SEE and ARE SEEN.
EXAMPLE #1: Everyone’s CULTURE determines the standard for beauty and what is “normal.” In “THE GAZE,” the main character is a fat woman in love with a dwarf. These characters are accustomed to being OBSERVED negatively because they are different. Being seen negatively becomes a part of a causal chain of who these characters have become and will be in the future.
Conclusion? How other people SEE us, affects us significantly. If they GAZE upon us favorably, don’t we have a better chance of SEEING ourselves likewise? Thus, we have a greater chance of proceeding confidently and positively in our lives. AND THE REVERSE! BEING SEEN can be ADVANTAGEOUS or DANGEROUS! (Chiboogamoo, who is reading over my shoulder, adds, “This is true of predators and prey as well.” Hallelujah adores her companion and acknowledges his thoughtful contribution.)
EXAMPLE #2: Our EDUCATION teaches us to LOOK for CERTAIN things. Hallelujah would like to introduce a paleontological example.
My Chiboogamoo and I spent some time along the coast of Victoria in Australia at a site called “Dinosaur Dreaming” in Inverloch looking for fossil traces—tracks and burrows. As a paleontologist, Chiboogamoo knows specific patterns to look for in the rocks, and he has patiently taught me these search images, so I find them too. However, our guides, loving caretakers of this site and working for the Museum of Victoria, had a different way of looking at the rocks. They were looking for bone. Their search image was for a change in rock color and density. If the rock looked spongy and more porous in spots, it might contain dinosaur or mammal bone.
Chiboogamoo “discovered” fossil crayfish burrows directly in front of the staircase going onto the beach at this site. Everyone had passed these distinctly patterned rocks every day for as many as 15 years without SEEING them. He also found some dinosaur tracks even though many paleontologists had been to the site before. Not one of them had Chiboogamoo’s education—the study of life traces: ichnology. Soon, after his “discovery,” he taught site workers how to LOOK at the rocks differently, and they began finding more of the same traces.
Meanwhile, during my time along the rocky shores of Dinosaur Dreaming, I struggled with how to change my perceptions, so I could find fossil bone instead of traces. I have not been able to SEE any as of yet. Not yet!
Conclusion? We FIND what we KNOW to LOOK for. If we change the SEARCH PATTERN, we can FIND something DIFFERENT—maybe!
On my PILGRIMAGE, I would like to have a "SEARCH IMAGE," so I can find that "SOMETHING" that I am looking for. How will my EDUCATION help me in my journey—if I want to discover what I do not already know?
That’s Coffee with Hallelujah! Please tell me what you know about the unknown and do you have any tips about how to see it? ALL RESPONSES from PILGRIMS are WELCOME!
In this image, "Looking Between Worlds," Hallelujah has just freed herself from being "rooted" in her old ways. The painting is number 8 in the series of Hallelujah's Pilgrimage, that started on July 25, 2009. Painted on August 11, it is a good example of my experimenting with water color pencils and crayons, markers and glitter. This image is particularly meaningful to me because I feel it shows me transformed: I have the yellow glow of warm energy emanating from me, as well as the new growth represented by the veil of leaves and flowers. The pink hot spot at my center echoes my wide open mouth in amazement at what I see before me in the NEW WORLD of self.