Saturday, November 04, 2006

There are none so blind
As those who will not see

Yesterday, I talked about the error of omission. I would like to expand on, or at least explore, another facet of that phenomena: our reluctance to see what is in front of our faces.

In our book, The Hand Book of Peak Performance, Ron Hering and I write about how people think in pictures, actually holograms. This is easy to demonstrate. Right now, I wish you not to think about a hot fudge sundae in a tall chilled class with rivlets of moisture runnining down the sides. Do not think about the rounded mound of ice cream and the dark fudge beneath a pillow whipped cream. That's all...and I am willing to bet that you had a very vivid image of that sundae as you read the above. The thing is, we "see" what we are thinking about and not what is in front of us.

That soccer mom on the cell phone going 10 over the limit probably doesn't see anything in front of her nose. Neuroanatomists tell us she is using her striate nucleus or automatic brain to drive the car. Interestingly, this is the part of the brain that birds use most (to the best of my knowledge). If an emergency happens, mom will lose precious moments of reaction time while her brain switches to conscious thinking. You don't want to be in front of her during that brief,but possibly leathal, transition. But enough of the fun stuff and back to my point (I hugely digressed...a megagression).

Just as the student doctors (re: yesterday's blog) cannot say they have not seen a certain disease, the civilians around here cannot claim there is no wild life in our little corner of the earth. I realize there is a difference here. Had my neighbor actually seen an elephant crossing his lawn he would have known it. But if he didn't look out the window, he wouldn't know the elephant (and what it dumped) was there.

We are always on our mental cell phones, or so it seems. I've written about how we worry about the future and rue the past while all the while missing the present. So it was a day ago while I awaited Sir Ansel to decide that he was good and ready to hop into the Blazer to be whisked to the park for a walk. Instead of thinking about how I'd like to ring his neck for making me wait...I, instead (with empty, Zen mind) took in what was there. That's when I saw the Red Tail Hawk sitting in my neighbor's tree (the elephant was gone by then).

He just sat and watched (had I been more observant, I would have noticed the total abscence of song birds which is a sure indication that the hawk is around...yes, a minigression). And I watched him because it felt like a gift to be able to see this proud independent bird up on his throne; and I wondered why the Universe had sent him to me and what it was I was supposed to learn from his presence. I know he wasn't sent for blog material. Perhaps he was there just to remind me to stop, listen, look around....let's all see what's going on.

Paddle safe...


Anonymous said...

We don't see many hawks near our house, but now and then a shrike will quietly appear. The normal bird life stops instantly and disappears until the shrike moves off. I suppose the odd bird loses it and they're the ones the shrike catches. Interesting topic!

Silbs said...