It’s all to do with attentiveness, with the way everything awakens under the gentle beam of one’s sympathetic attention...When one emanates this gentle beam, when everything on which one's look falls is bathed in this kindly light and warmth, then the world walks at one’s side and poetics blossom in one's footsteps.

Freya Mathews. 'Reinhabiting Reality' 2005

Choose your eyes carefully

Where is the gently attentive eye still found? With its beam of sympathetic attention, its kindly light and warmth? This is surely an endangered species of sight. In the ecology of the gaze the grasping eye now prevails. The eye that seeks to possess, the eye that is intent on extraction; the eye colonising the mind's forests, its mountains, its lakes, its cities and seas.

Each moment choose your eyes carefully for they shape the world. Cultivate the miner's eye and you will see the mountain as a valuable resource to be plundered. Attune to the artist's eye, see the mountain's nuanced colours, textures, shadows, contours. Acquire the eyes of the native inhabitant, see the sacred dwelling of ancestors.*

See the sacred dwelling of ancestors

Photographs: Natalie McDonagh
* Grateful acknowledgement to Iain McGilchrist, the source of the mountain exemplar.