Learning To See

“People look at these statues, take selfies but they don’t know what they are looking at.” Since over a week I’m in Florence for no real reason – well, even as a nomad I need to be somewhere at times.

People ask me: “What are you doing here?” Haha, I haven’t seen all the sights of Florence at all, but I had the most intense encounters with the city itself. It forces me to stop. It pulls and pushes me, but mostly it captivates me between its dramatic walls. Within its history it helps me to write mine.

The introductory expression of disgust by a guy that I met on the way made me think. To be fair – I don’t know what I’m looking at either, but I’m paying attention – to the details.

For sure you know this feeling: You move to a new city or a different part of town. On your way to the supermarket a beautiful flower catches your eye on the sidewalk. All of a sudden you notice the ragged garden behind the overgrown fence. How could you not notice this beautiful gem in the middle of your hood?

There is so much to see if we look around. And I’m not only talking about museums, sights or gardens.

A lot of times we are rushing through life not noticing what actually happens around or within us. C’est la vie. That’s life. Yes, but what if we miss important waypoints, because we don’t take the time to actually look around?

Maybe life is only half lived if we rush through it. If we with our western mind always try to calculate instead to observe. Instead of letting a situation speak to us we are making assumptions quickly. Instead of observing we are trying to solve a problem immediately.

Don’t get me wrong – of course we need to target our goals. Of course we need to tackle the challenges of a humans life. But honestly: When was the last time you really spend with just “being” and letting everything else be?

We need to take action, but when do we actually take the time to wait and see? To look and listen? Not only to the other person or to Michelangelos’ David statue but also to difficult situations, to our feelings or our emotional reactions in certain moments. They are there for a reason. Every challenge, every feeling is here for a reason and wants to tell us something.

A lot of times – maybe there is not even any action necessary. Probably this is how we ‘lose track’. By not taking the time to observe and let the insights come to us.

It is all already thought, but the learning process never ends and I’m endlessly grateful.




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