“The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” — Marcel Proust
Claude Monet painted in Giverny from 1883 to 1926 (http://tinyurl.com/ld94xqh — Rick Steves’ article), something I’ve always found difficult to comprehend. How anyone could find continual inspiration in the same scene for thirty-three years? And yet, those years were some of Monet’s most productive. (For proof, you need look no further than “Water Lilies” at the Cleveland Museum of Art http://tinyurl.com/qykh2wo.)
Recently, however, I began to understand how this could be so, and I’ve come to believe creativity isn’t so much about seeing new things but — as in the Proust quote above — “seeing with new eyes.” For me, this has meant learning to pay attention to what is happening in my very ordinary, occasionally boring, everyday life.
You see, this summer I began walking a few days a week with friends. We get up early, meet at the same place each time, and usually take the same route.
It’s different every single day.
Same lake, different sunrise.
Same trees, different colors.
Same me, new eyes?