8 filters you can use to create exotic views and experiences without leaving home.
It’s difficult to watch the Evening News without some exposure to television commercials warning about the perils of living too long. That is, living too long and not having saved enough funds for retirement.
It’s not that I ignored the internal voice that kept whispering that my puny 410 K, plus Social Security, wouldn’t keep me from eating cat food for very long, its just that since I was recently forced into retirement by illness, the voice has grown louder.
One thing that I would like to do, now that I’m not working, is travel. Male wanderlust is great. Just imagine what sights may be awaiting beyond the horizon, around the river bend, atop of the mountain peak. The good news is that there has been an astounding drop in oil prices, making travel cheaper. The bad news is travel can still be quite pricy. Fortunately for me, a couple of days ago, I struck oil in my kitchen.
It was a completely routine morning. I got up. Shuffled to the kitchen. Made some coffee. Noticed how the light streamed through a window. Then I saw through my peripheral vision the illumination of a class container of olive oil resting on the stove. That sight caught my attention. I noticed how the light was refracted by the olive oil making a golden splash on the wall. I decided to spend a little time with Bare Awareness meditation. As I stood in the room I extended my pleasure by framing and taking a photo with my IOS 4 cell phone camera. I typed in “Waking up oily in the morning” and touched the Facebook Post tile. I laughed at the sad pun and imagined my Facebook friends groaning and saying, “He’s at it again.” I had a good trip. You can too.
Let’s consider some “filters” you can use to have a cheap vacation by opening your eyes.
- Bare Awareness is a meditation technique where you look out over a scene, gently resisting urges to label and rate what you are seeing. Just look.This is very cheap to do, but not as easy as it sounds. It gets better with practice. Notice your tendency to put labels on what you see and rate your aesthetic appreciation or lack there of, as to what you are looking at or how it reminds you of something you once saw. When you withhold such judgements, you may become entranced with the view outside your kitchen window.
- Prisoner’s View is a variation on Bare Awareness. In this case you pass judgments, but with the appreciation of a prisoner who has been kept confined in a room without a view. I often practice Bare Awareness while being a passenger in a moving vehicle. The most ordinary of roadside attractions and non-attractions can play like a fascinating film.
- Savoring the Light involves paying attention to the play of light on objects. Light filtering through trees, light dancing on still or moving waters, illumination by early morning, noonday, twilight, moonlight, city street light. Photographers often wait patiently for just the right light. You can appreciate any form of light at anytime.
- Photographic Framing involves cropping your sights. If you want to look artistic you can do it with your fingers. No purchases necessary.
- Photoshopping Sights means doing things like imagining what you are looking at with a different background, foreground or mid-ground, or different colors. You can imagine that you are in the scene, no selfie stick required. Anything you can do with Photoshop you can do with your imagination in real time, while you observe.
- Abstract Modern Art Painting View can be done as a form of Framing where you gaze at an object from a close-up perspective, until the object is no longer recognizable by form. Pay attention to lines, color shading, texture. Try an Impressionistic look by using Soft Eyes. Move your eyelids a little closer together and defocus slightly. Cool.
- Through a Child’s Eyes means remembering how things looked to you as a boy, particularly a young boy, think age six and younger. Sandboxes contained great desserts and mud puddles were great lakes. Ants scurried across the surface of Mars.
- Nostalgic Recall Small refers to remembering with fond appreciation the common sights we have seen. It is typical to day dream about special vistas we have witnessed. It can be fun to recall, in our mind’s eye, the simplest of visual pleasures too.
Try some of these eye openers for affordable travel and you might discover, as did the poet, T.S. Elliott, “We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our explorations will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” Perhaps for the first time you wont be looking at a big credit card balance upon your return.