Looking with “New Eyes”

I often feel very grateful that I discovered blogging. Love to talk! Ego gets going yeah yeah, but more and more infinitely important, I find the thoughts of others, their generosity, their difference, their responses, warm my heart. Speccy and Kathryn and Ana and others who liked or responded to my last post thank you for the thoughts you engendered, even though of course they might not be what you expected.

Try this, discovered when looking up Ana, a TED talk video from Pico Iyer:

what “home” means

I have tried to say stuff like this, wish I had the eloquence, but don’t need it, I have the feeling!

Pico Iyer
quotes Marcel Proust:

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

taking picture of myself in mirror to show I can wear a dress - usually in trousers
taking picture of myself in mirror to show I can wear a dress – usually in trousers

I have not put many pics of me online anywhere – but the outward view is little old white lady whom the Edinburgh bus-drivers are happy to call “hen” (as they do).

How does anyone know what anyone is on the inside?

We are all so different. (I have 3 sons and immediate family on four different continents, we carry passports from 5 different nations, if Scotland goes independent it will become 6)

Looking with “new eyes” is what I try to do, but I have a huge caveat, and wonder if Proust knew it


Long ago [in 1833] my star Michael Faraday said:

...men [sic] are so often bowed down and carried forward from fallacy to fallacy, their eyes not being opened to see what that fallacy is… the more acute a man is, the more he is bound by the chains of error;  for he only uses his ingenuity to falsify the truth which lies before him…

This week I was reading Pat Barker’s excellent book “Double Vision” in which two characters (a vicar and a war-correspondent suffering from PTSD) debate whether or how a person can change. The vicar predictably thinks “not by oneself” and although not said he is evidently supposing that God is required, while the one lacking religious faith thinks you just make up your mind, or get a therapist. (apologies Pat Barker for this crude precis).

To me, they are both right in a way, and both wrong in a different way. Like Faraday, following Faraday, I think that we get new eyes through something “other” than ourselves, as if we rely just on oneself, we are ‘bound by the chains‘ of where we have already been – you could call it being on an ego trip.

It might be science (the real kind taking on the wonder and uncertainty of something that doesn’t fit what one has previously thought to be so)

It might be faith (the real kind, not the R kind, where a need for otherness finds a God somewhere out there. I wrote about ‘belief’ here.)

It might be another person (whose ego is out of the way for a moment, as it is supposed to be in a therapist, and as it may well be in anyone)

Whatever it is, it is a struggle every moment to be open to the difference, to have “new eyes”.


OOOPS – I mean being alive!!  Ready to play!!!  Have a good day!!!!!

Finding all these other live people online, it is no wonder that I love this world we have found. It might be blogging.


5 thoughts on “Looking with “New Eyes”

  1. A blogger not is ‘I’. NOr poet, writer or beggar. We (eye) have beginning which speeds along to the end – the middle ground is ‘NOT Much’ but is all we have to go by-e. Traces, an tidbits, the on going dialogue of discovery. It is true, one never stops learning, even in death; there is no finality when a life flickers in the eyes of offspring. Even if childless, a life lives on in a life once lived; so live it, try to do good, it is what it is after all -‘this is as good as gets’ can be most sobering realization but one which offers the most rewards, I think, I don’t know, I am not sure et. al………………. good shtufffs you.


    1. The new eyes is one of the things I find hardest as a poet – I can write the ego ‘it happened to me’ stuff, would love to create like Mary Oliver or some such out of an apparently simple observation. You do write poetry – I have read some of it. Good shtufffs to you too


  2. I think we see what we want to see, Elspeth. If we don’t like something, we can change our view of it, but usually we need someone else to ‘guide’ us to the good points. We can make our mind up to like something though, do it ourselves, and it works just as good.
    I like the idea of looking through new eyes though… imagining how someone else may view something. I may explore this thought a little further… thanks for the inspiration!


    1. That for the moment would make me your ‘other’. That’s sort of what I mean – someone else/something else is the stimulus – if we reject what is there or impose our previous assumptions on it – we never get to see newness ??


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