Seeing

He was drawing a picture of a sunlit forest.

He drew a brown trunk.

Then a green lollypop top.

When he drew a black circle in the middle of the trunk with the word “hoo” coming out from it, I had to turn away to hide my smile.

The art teacher stood behind my six-year-old son with eyebrows raised, amusement thinly veiled.

“He likes to draw,” she said to me, with a smile.

What happened next, I cannot explain.

She knelt down beside him and gently directed his attention to the picture he was trying to recreate. She showed him how the trees deeper in the forest looked higher up on the page, and how to add horizon to ground them with the others. She showed him how the leafy foliage overlapped to create a beautiful umbrella and how to use light and shadow to create individual leaves.

“Do you see this trunk? There is brown in it, but look closer. What other colors do you see? There’s not only brown, is there?”

She moved around the table, making similar points for other students. Each time she directed attention to the image being copied.

“Look” she said, or “See”.

I was mesmerized.

She was not teaching how to draw.

She was teaching how to see.

I watched my son’s artwork come alive with shapes and colors. For that moment, he stopped seeing the world as flat…and began to see what it was really made of.

All because of a great teacher and some practice.

Sometimes we need a little help seeing.

We need a teacher to help adjust our vision.

Practice…practice seeing with His eyes.

This is what I do.

**artwork by Jeffrey Boggess at age 6.

Add Image
For a lesson on seeing, visit L.L. Barkat and try her “close your eyes” challenge. Here is my offering:

The Long Ride Home

I close my eyes and I can still see
trees passing by through windows.

Dappled lights—leaf shadows–

pass over faces, like hands

dangling ribbons of sunshine.

And dusty veil rises to meet
as wheel gives wing to earthen road.

Steady thrum of engine–this lullaby–
and knees curl up
against the seat in front

as body jostles with the rocking
of this
frenetic cradle.

The steady chatter
of childhood friends
a quiet song for the ride.

But this one stays
tucked down in seat–
invisible to searching eyes–

nose buried in book

to pass

the long ride home.

Into the hollow
where God’s hand has hidden

this treasure

inside of dusty roads
and
scattered green.

When I close my eyes
I see it all
as it used to be.

But I am not there.

This lost treasure has been found.

Comments

  1. says

    laura … the tree has long been one of the most significant images for me. your son’s drawing is inspiring! and oh what a gift of a teacher he has. when a teacher respects the process and honors the student, they come along side on the threshold of our learning, they honor us by pointing out a path … allowing us to find our way to seeing what has always been there for us to see.

    this …

    “Dappled lights—leaf shadows–
    pass over faces, like hands
    dangling ribbons of sunshine.”

    … yes, i too know this seeing!

  2. says

    “She was not teaching how to draw. She was teaching how to see.”

    WOW – I want to do that! Thanks for posting this; your way with words warms my heart:)

  3. says

    Our heart sees treasures our eyes cannot view. Our greatest sight lies in things unseen.

    “We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!”
    1 Corinthians 13:12 (The Message)

    Seeking Him,
    Joy

  4. says

    Laura, wow what a reminder of how we need to have ears to hear and eyes to see.

    What an artist your son has become. I love how the teacher made the picture come to life for the student. Like the Holy Spirit makes the scriptures alive to us.

    Hope you had a beautiful day.

    Love,
    Carol

  5. says

    What a wonderful lesson to “see.”
    Your son’s artwork is incredible.
    Reading this, gives me this thought that …. that “seeing” is a much more profound vision than I ever imagined.
    May He open our eyes to everything He has for us!
    Holykisses,
    Lea

  6. says

    Love the vignette and the poem. It is a deep question… how we teach others to see, since seeing is something that must take place in the individual.

    My favorite phrase (besides the one Laure pointed out, which definitely struck me as being the most visual!) was this…

    But this one stays
    tucked down in seat

    I have a girl of tuckiness. Nose in a book. I see you in her, her in you.

  7. says

    Dappled lights—leaf shadows–
    pass over faces, like hands
    dangling ribbons of sunshine.

    I like those lines, Laura. Makes me really see the sun and shadow of passing trees, but not as though I am looking directly at them. Rather as I see them out of my peripheral vision, flickering, bright and dark in rapid succession.

    Thanks for the story and the poem.

    Grace…

  8. says

    I’m amazed by the pictures created by your words.

    Into the hollow where God’s hand has hidden this treasure inside of dusty roads and scattered green.

    This phrase touched me most… Its true what you say, we learn as we read, this is so great.

  9. says

    Beautiful, Laura, just beautiful!

    Your first paragraph is my very favorite… you’ve brought back many a memory with those words and even now, I still love to bask in the warm sunshine on a long drive… with my eyes closed I can still see the light and dark of sunshine and shadow as we pass beneath trees along the way.

  10. says

    Mmmm. I’m a teacher. At least that is my title. And I’d love just a smidgen of that art instructor’s gift of opening eyes to the depth, the shades, the many-ness of what our vision too often misses. I want to help my students see for themselves, not tell them what to see. Thanks.

  11. says

    The picture of learning to see is absolutely mesmorizing! My girls are amazing artists and can “see” things and recreate them in a much better way then I can. I have learned much from watching them.

    Praying for new eyes to see!
    I love this post!!

  12. says

    What an awesome post Laura!! I long to see things as God sees them. Thanks so much for the reminder to really look….

    That picture is unbelievable!!
    Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Lynn

  13. says

    Oh bless that teacher. Oh for a thousand teachers to take the time with each student to show them how to see and do it well,better, and then best. I remember a teaching showing me the same thing when I drew a picture of a path. she taught me to taper it. Had she not taken the time all my paths would be two straight lines stretching from one end of the paper to another. Tell that artist son of yours – make sure to sign your work. It derserves to have a name on it!

  14. says

    Hmm, art like this at age 6. WOW, a real talent!

    God speaks to me about seeing all the time. I’m more aware than ever before and what a joy I’m having to be able to see. Even if it’s through a glass dimly…

    Much love,

    Tiffany

  15. says

    How did I miss this lovely post? Oh, I can’t keep up on my blogs daily…it’s about every 2-3 days now.

    I love this post. What a beautiful analogy to learning to see to draw better and learning to see, to really SEE…see Him.

    Oh my word, when I read this was from your son at age SIX. I was astounded…I mean my soon to be 8 year old niece doesn’t draw like that. He must have a good teacher and a good mom who’ taught he at home early on. 🙂

    Just beautiful. You are a beautiful person, beautiful mom, and beautiful friend to me.

    Precious you are. If I had a precious award, I’d give it to you. 🙂
    Love
    P

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