Recently I heard a radio interview with an artist who contended he wanted people to look at his work. He said folks go to “see” a movie, but people really “look” at paintings. Without mentioning there can be art in making films just as there is creative expression in other media, I disagreed in his use of the two viewings as one being superior to the other. I believe the question lies in whether either results in true recognition. From its beginning, Stones and Feathers has been a blog subtitled “A Different Way of Seeing.” Contemplative seeing, or seeing with the eyes of the heart is a work of the spirit as well as simply receiving images. So much of my photography and writing is simply an effort to pin down these results and express my gratitude for them.

This video was prepared by a student in a class taught by my friend Sheila Otto. Sometimes I experience something so penetrating and true I weep. My granddaughter Skye once told me the beauty in a red strawberry she was slicing made her whisper. When I viewed Dietrich Ludwig’s film, I cried while I whispered “Thank You.” I share the video with his permission and in tribute to my son, Ben, a man with an extraordinary, different way of seeing. His physical vision loss as yet has no surgical correction, but he lives every day with courage, fortitude, and the beauty that is experienced by seeing with the eyes of his heart.

Video from KarmaTube

The film also spoke to me since I was diagnosed in 2005 with Fuch’s corneal dystrophy for which there is no cure, only transplants as an option. My vision deteriorated so rapidly that I (who had been Ben’s reader and driver for so many years) became unable to read or drive. I received cornea transplants in May and July of 2006 and have very good vision at present although still followed closely by the surgeon. I am grateful to the two donor families who made these surgeries possible for me by their gifts.

Please note that the young man who created the video is dyslexic. He has trouble with letters and numbers, but pictures are his best way of learning and communicating. That is the reason he has chosen to work with photography. Thank you, Dietrich Ludwig, for what you see.

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