What do I see when I look at the sky?
The sky today is, I’m told, a uniform grey, and it is raining steadily. It is what some people call “a miserable day”.
So, let’s sit down and look at it for 30 minutes or so!
This is my first meditation for the visually impaired, though it probably works for sighted people as well. I’d be interested in hearing from sighted people about this, and also from those who are totally blind.
The sky is the perfect thing to contemplate. It’s very big, for a start, so you won’t have any difficulty in locating it. It is dynamic, and changes in colour and form and movement hour by hour, day by day. Lots of interesting things to see.
The best place to watch the sky is outside, obviously, but if it is too cold or it is raining, as today, find a window with a good view.
This is not meditation in the spiritual sense. It is deep contemplation, or just sky-watching. There are no techniques, no lotus position, no breath control. Just keep your eyes open and see what happens and how you feel about it.
This photo records what I could see this morning. My first thoughts were that it looked like a Mark Rothko painting on the day he couldn’t find his red paint. Maybe it’s called “Grey #1”.
It’s portrait style, and divided into two parts by a black telephone wire. During my watching, it becomes clear that there are four planes to this picture. The furthest, deepest world is the world of the clouds, which, after a while, stops being grey and becomes cream and pink, with the consistency of sago pudding. If I look at the top panel, the bottom panel turns pure white. Once, a bird flew across it, scrappy and black.
The second plane is the telephone wire, sometimes a line that moves with the wind, but sometimes like a scratch on the painting. The third plane is the plane of the black frame and the surface of the glass/painting. Sometimes the painting is on the glass surface, and sometimes it is far away and moving. The texture drifts from left to right, with what I know is a south-west wind, the wind that brings days of rain, and occasional birds appear and disappear. There is a bird in this photo of the sky, near the bottom, if you blow the picture up.
The fourth plane is the plane of my eye. Against the sky I see floaters and dead cells drifting downwards. I can play with them and make them go back to the top of the picture. It’s difficult not to follow them down with your attention, but, if you do, they will sink for ever. I try to let them go. I try to accept the new ones that come.
Acceptance is the key to all of this. I accept the passing of time, I accept the boredom, I accept the weather; and through these small acceptances I am rewarded with the beauty of an undiscovered world.