An Excerpt from Jim
of April 18, 2004
Issued from the woods a few miles west of Natchez, Mississippi, USA
Something tells me it's not good to let the mind think diffusedly all the time, or even most of the time, so regularly I yank my mind out of that mode, and do focusing exercises.
For example, this morning with my binoculars I walked around focusing my lenses on individual things, just looking at them for a long time, as if I were standing before a piece of art on a museum wall, and I kept looking until I was satisfied that I had seen something important there.
I focused on a certain freshly emerged green oak leaf with sunlight rampaging through it. I don't believe there has ever been a design in all of Paris more expressive and perfect than the curl of that leaf just as it was during that particular moment of sunlit perfection. I focused on a feather with dew on it. I can't recall any painted picture in any museum anywhere evoking such pathos as that wrecked, wet feather. For long moments I beheld a yellow oxalis blossom all surrounded by green grass, and then I saw -- really saw, saw as well as my mind could see at that time -- the grain in a weathered fence plank, and a cluster of pebbles in the sand at the creek's edge. .