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  • Fe Robinson

The ever changing sky

As I write, I have in mind a series of mesmerising sunsets that I have been lucky enough to see recently. Out and about in the car, it has been gorgeous to watch the changing light and the way the clouds morph and change in a moment to moment light show.

This puts me in mind of the transience and uniqueness of all human experience. As we drove, one of my family asked me what made the sky the colour they were seeing. I responded to them that their eyes did, and that what they see in any moment is different to what I, or anyone else saw. Perception is unique.

Consciousness is currently understood to be a prediction model that we are constantly updating as new information comes in. We see, quite literally, what we expect to see. We make sense of things based on our prior experiences and our expectations.

When it comes to sunsets, this for me is a boon. I have an expectation of beauty, and thankfully that is what I therefore get. When it comes to other things though, this predictive way of being is perhaps not so useful. Allowing ourselves to be on auto-pilot and without awareness to interpret things as we anticipate them to be can mean we miss out on so much nuance and difference, we assume too much. We may perceive only one side of something, or a very partial view.

Like sunsets, our experience is transient. I asked a dearly loved photographer once how he knew where the photo was, as he had such a way of capturing the magic of what was in front of him. He said to me, look for what will never be the same again. Find the uniqueness of now, and there is your photo.

It is sage advice for life, not only for photography! Literally, nothing will ever be the same again. Life can be hard to savour and treasure at times, there can be so much that does not feel OK or reflect what it is we want or hope for. And yet, each moment passes, and with it passes much that will never recur. Finding and enjoying the uniqueness, and being thankful for the silver linings even when the clouds are dark can be helpful.

When the going gets tough, ask yourself, what is possible? What am I not noticing that changes this? How am I connected? What is it my eye, ear, body or mind can perceive that offers me something? After all, whatever it is we notice, there is always more.

For help in navigating the hard times, and finding the sense of transience and hope therein, get in touch.


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