I focus on seeing straight ahead of me. I don't mean optically, so much, although optics enter into it. I focus on not overlooking the things I customarily overlook.
I looked up the term "neurosis" this evening. You see, I never consider my various shortcomings to be particularly severe mental defects, so I always fall back on "neurosis" as my catch-all expression for the in-built flaws. As I always do from such excursions in the ether, I learned a lot of history, a bit of controversy, and a good few approximations of limited use. I use terms like "neurosis", as well as other medical terms, without having any real idea of diagnostic theory or application. I think it might be better to devise a new way of expressing my metaphors.
I play with musical devices that do not "read notes" but play sounds based on colors and charts. One device allows me to plot the chart, and manipulates the wave samples based on what I plot. Another device permits me to draw a chart, and create the sample to "play" the chart from thin air. Yet a third lets me chart the portions of the spectrum to be played, so that loop upon loop of music appears, depending on what I draw. I chart the signs, and the music appears. I like to imagine that each chart, no matter how glowing and gorgeous, will resonate into ambient beauty. But in fact, when I hear what is "there", the true facts sometimes require different skills and different approaches than my imagined solutions. If I draw a flower, then synesthesically, I imagine I should hear, smell and taste a flower, too. But my wiring differs from that model. I find that I perpetually draw flowers, and then the synthesizer coagulates the sound into chalk-board-scraping noise. I do not labor under the view that because I wish to do things, things turn easy. On the contrary, it is usually my view that I do things in different and labor-saving ways because they are so very difficult to do otherwise. Unlike the stereotype, I do not imagine things others do to be easy, but instead to be unfathomably hard. It takes a lot of work to make things work.
The inference I draw is not the commonplace "nothing works". I don't live in the land of "nothing works". I don't think we're hard-wired for failure--I instead believe that we have to accept what constitutes and builds success. But that's an aside--a diversion from seeing. The lesson I learn is that life teaches me what will work and what will not work.
That's part of why I like my job so much. I have a good sense for what works and what does not work. Whether I win a particular case or lose a particular case, I understand why, how, and often if. In the mental world of
legal matters, things fit into a well-ordered universe. I "see" what there is to see, and even when the judge is wrong, I "see" the flaw. I have a kind of received knowledge, trained into me over twenty years, which helps me deduce what came before and what is to come. There are boundaries and edges and vast, unknown prairies, of course. But I know what I look at when I put the opera glasses to my face.
Yet this week, as my sight cleared, I suddenly find myself accomplishing some non-work tasks I could not "see" my way clear to accomplish before now. It's not that I have suddenly cleared my "hobby to do" list, for I seem to be unable constitutionally to get a number of long-promised mailings done. But the mailings perhaps make my point.
In my mind, the way I do things, I can't "see" my way clear to get that done. But as I sit here, I "see" this before me--that I have mailed hundreds if not thousands of things in my life, and surely can mail 20 more.
This virtue in listing arises--if it is on a list, it is harder to fail to "see" the thing on the list. But it's a neurosis, or a self-hypnosis, or a look into the eye of the cobra, if you will: that thing that makes one pause and freeze and fail to see. The snake stares at one, and raw fear or fellow feeling or simple oblivion makes the
chores at hand disappear. I want to stop looking at the cobras in my life and seeing what there is before me.
I fear, and rejoice, in the fact that what I have before me to "see" are simple tasks and simple goals.
I remind myself lately to do things that make me relax and at ease. So many people face the demons of despair and escape. I face the demon of doing the comforting thing. I constitutionally resist doing the "step into the sun" thing, sometimes, and instead do the thing that shrinks and ignores and plows into difficult tasks. Even the difficult tasks do not suffice, as I can always recount ways in which I did just less than I could have done to fully accomplish them more easily.
This week, I "see" the things I do which bring more order to the physical room which is my office. I "see" the things that advance the projects I wish to work upon.
Even in my hobby things, in which I am trying to learn new methods of self-promotion, I "see" the dagger before me, and work each week to figure out how to clutch it and use it as a whittling blade for the carving of dreams.
I also come to "feel" my way a bit. I come to "see" the ways in which my natural tactlessness and forthrightness impairs my way in social situations, but also the way in which it serves as a valuable sorting device. I tire of eggshells. I find we are all knee-deep in shell. I long, sometimes, for people who wish to leave behind the eggshells and go comb for seashells instead.
This is a week in which I see what is before my eyes, at least a bit. I am not looking into a glass, darkly, but instead looking down on cacti illumined with fluorescent bulbs. I am not quite ready to say "see me, feel me, touch me, heal me", as Peter Townsend is not among my spiritual guides. But I've got the fog lights on, and
perhaps I can corner these mountain roads a bit more linearly for a while.