Saturday, May 15, 2010

To See

by Zinta Aistars
(Photos taken by cell phone camera or digital camera in Grand Rapids, Michigan)

We move through our days as if with eyes open, yet do we see? About two or so months ago, I began snapping photos with the cell phone camera in my pocket as I walked on my lunch hours. An image here, a snapshot there. With each day, each lunch hour stroll, I collected more and more photos. It was spring, and the earth was stirring, and I opened my eyes to see life. Everywhere. The crocuses, the tulips, the daffodils and narcissus, blankets of violets ... and as the days went by, the flowers opened, bloomed, wilted, to be replaced by the next wave of blossoms.

Every day, as I accumulated more and more photos, by now several hundred, I was sure there would be nothing new to see. Every day, I found new sights, new shapes, new colors, new patterns, new designs in the world around me.

By now, I have something of an obsession going. I watch the clock for my lunch hour. I hunger not for my sandwich, that I wolf down ... I hunger to go out again and see ... see what I can see that I have never quite seen before.

I often walk the same streets, to challenge myself to see something new. I always do. Other days, I set out to explore places I have never yet been. Instead of turning right, I turn left. Instead of going downhill, I head uphill. Instead of walking the residential neighborhood, I stroll down to Grand River, through the city, or I head to a completely different neighborhood.

Some days I look for flowers. What profusion, what bounty, what beauty. Other days, my eye is drawn to architecture. To the play of light and shadow. To the crumpled paper against the curb, or the petals fallen and strewn across cracked, old steps.

Often, what my eye sees is trained by the day. A good day focuses me on beauty. A tense day focuses me on the ugliness. But more often, getting out to take that walk, whatever the weather, in the middle of my work day ... snaps me out of my routine and pumps fresh blood through my limbs, new joy into my heart, and opens my eyes to the incredible world all around, every single day, every day, every single one.

I see.

Complete photo albums from all my lunch walks in 2010 can be viewed on my Facebook site.


  1. Awesome! My own eyes have become jaded with so many years, but you have awakened in me the desire to see again.

  2. You have a good eye for form

    The secret of good photography......take lots of them.