Monday, December 21, 2015

look up - and learn ...


I can't believe it's almost been a whole year

there's only 10 days until this year/ my look up project is complete


Stop everything.
Look Up.
Wait. Pay Attention. Keep looking up.  Feel the moment. Still the mind.
Focus on family and friends.
('ooo look - pretty cloud')
Focus. Loving-kindness.
('ooooo look - fluttery bird')
Focus. Gratitude.
('ooo look - blowing leaves').


Yes, I got distracted. Yes, I distracted others (when you suddenly stop in the middle of a path and look skywards, others tend to either fall over you or look up with you!). Yes, I sometimes didn't get around to sending loving-kindness out as I looked up ('oooooo pretty rainbow'). But through it all its been a marvelous year.  

The Look Up project showed me that it IS possible to be a fully creative being in just a single moment and that by focusing not just on the aesthetic but also inward (still that mind!) and outward (exhale gratitude!) that the creative moment can be enriched and enriching (even when you sometimes get distracted).

For many familiar with mindfulness etc it would feel quite normal - for me it was one of many revelations...

Another revelation was how much the whole family got into the spirit of looking up ('hey mum - come quick --- there's a great sunset!'....  'hey mum - look -- it's a rainbow'... 'hey mum - what's that?'....)

When you spend a lot of time looking up, you get to be very interested in understanding WHAT exactly you are seeing -- birds, insects, moths, butterflies, leaves, unidentified flying objects (what IS that?) --  where are they coming from and going to? what are those clouds doing? do they mean storms? rain? Yes, clouds in all their manifestations are magical, and learning cloud names has been wonderful (mmmmmmm cirrocumulus, altostratus, nimbus...  this year I became very interested in cloud nomenclature) 

I didn't start the look up with any outward outcome in mind (other than a daily blog post if I could manage it). It was never about what I call 'high-fallutin' artiness and deadly serious photography (my big nikon was left at home for this project --- every pic of the look up year was shot with my ancient batphone.... sometimes the results were rather gnarly - but hey... that was part of the point --- to let go of the need for perfection and let magic happen) Look up was not about trying to capture the sublime (even though I often felt the awesome power of the landscape when I stood looking up) - rather I hoped for humble honesty. Look up was always intended to be a simple, personal, restorative, contemplative daily creative practice. So the following tale might be as much of a surprise to you as it was to me.

At the end of the first week of Looking Up I received a short note from a facebook mate asking if it was ok for her to perhaps respond to my look up pics (really? these little things? corrrrrr -- sure - knock yourself out!). Time passed and I didn't hear from my friend about my wonky little Look Up pics - which was fine (after all they were funny wonky pics). Then I received a little note and attached to a copy of one of my look up pics were some jewel-like lines... then another pic with a handful of musical words attached. then another. and another.


(ummmmm here's where I tell you the mate who asked the question is Aussie poet Melinda Smith --- recipient of the 2014 PM's poetry award)

Yup - my Look up moment (and grabbed photo) became the basis of her short response poetic challenge -- and just like alchemy, where lead is turned to gold, her marvelous micropoems combined with my somewhat prosaic pics have created something that I think is nothing short of miraculous.

Now I know --- you want to see some of these micropoems don't you? (and I want to share the combined pics and poems with you too!) -- but right now we have a couple of exciting things happening with our little uppy project --- and all will be revealed 'in the fullness of time'
(ps here's just one so you can swoon just like me -- be patient -- the other 364 are quietly waiting in the wings... )

Now who would have imagined that would have happened
just from looking up.
Not me.

*thanks everyone for following along
and offering the occasion blog comment

 I really appreciate your support 

 ps --- if you have indeed commented at any point this year
please pm me your postal details 

as I'd like to drop a small something into your mailbox

thanks again



  1. Hi Ronnie, I occasionally posted, but I looked every day. Sounds as if something magical happened along the details, I would be delighted if something found its way here. Penny Crompton. PO Box 321, Victor Harbor SA 5211

  2. How wonderful to hear how this lovely daily practice has influenced you, your family - a poet! - & many others. You have recorded & shared so many beautiful moments during 2015, and the words "look up" have often come into my mind over the course of the year...a quiet but rewarding 'command'!


thanks for all your lovely comments - your words are greatly appreciated xx