Learn to See with Your Spirit and Not Merely with Your Eyes

I often write about the importance of an artist’s or a writer’s or a thinker’s truly “seeing,” as opposed to merely looking.’

Even flies can look. Looking is nothing more than image recognition

Colorful, Insect, Bug, Nature, Animal, Close-Up, Macro

Seeing is a deeper thing. It has to do with perceiving and with the imagination and with empathy and feeling. Seeing things as they truly are requires looking with the spirit and not simply with the eyes, and sometimes it requires a bit of faith.

True vision is an element of understanding.


“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” – Albert Einstein

Multitasking Is the Enemy of True Vision

In the 21st Century, multi=tasking has become the norm. People strive to make important decisions while holding the telephone, watching a computer monitor, listening to music, watching the television, and texting the babysitter. In the 21st Century, time to think and to feel have been shaved from the workplace and our leaders have become little more than their machines.

“Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy ready-made things in the shops. But since there are no shops where you can buy friends, men no longer have any friends.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

While multitasking might be good for performance in some areas, it is the enemy of vision.

Like many creative people, it is difficult for me to focus. I get tons of new ideas every day, and because I have a zeal for new information, I like to chase as many ideas as possible. Chasing new ideas is exciting, but while I am engaging in that kind of frenetic behavior, I cannot truly see, therefore, I cannot truly write or paint. My frenetic chasing happens on a level where I am skipping wildly through life, but for me to truly create, I must sink into a deeper state of existence. I must settle there, and I must excavate the inner cavities of my experience. In other words, I must become mindful.

Mindfulness Fosters Vision and Creation

When I am skittering along, I can create cute things

The Bowtie Bunny in Ballet Slippers 
Jacki Kellum Draw the Bowties

Within the next week, I’ll be moving to a new old house, and at this moment, my mind is scattered all over the place. When I am distracted, I can’t dig deeply into the spot where I need to write deeply felt things, but when I am skittering about, I can create dozens of cute things per day. I decided to use this period of my distraction by launching an art club for kids who are staying at home because of the coronavirus.

Draw the Bowties Is a Series of Drawing Activities for Kids

Soon, I’ll be settled into my new home and studio, and I’ll be able to dig deep again, and that is when my serious writing and painting will resume.

Jacki Kellum Watercolor – Boy with Curls

When i am truly seeing, I am able to produce people like my Boy with Curls, but from another place entirely, I can produce the Bowtie Boys.

Draw the Bowtie Boys Around the World

I am not saying that there is anything wrong with creating cute stuff. I love making cute things, but my true art comes from another place.

A Word of Appreciation for My Editor

I’d like to take a second to slip something precious into this post. My debut pictures book is scheduled to be released in about a year. The editor who picked my manuscript out of a deep well has chosen one of my picture books that I wrote from that deep, sighted spot within myself.  I have tried to convince her that some of my cuter books are also good, but she demands more of me. In some crazy kind of way, I both respect and appreciate that kind of scrutiny. As I told her, in my picture books, I want quality and not quantity. Thank you, Dear Still Unnamed Editor.

In conclusion, I am merely saying that we need to learn to dig into the deepest recesses of our beings and to see with our souls and with our own intuitions–and not through the clouded lenses that lie within a busier and more distracted place. True vision is the only sight that is 20/20 and it is something that we see with our spirits.

Woman, Girl, Eye, Models, Scarf, Beauty

So with curious eyes and sick surmise
We watched him day by day,
And wondered if each one of us
Would end the self-same way,
For none can tell to what red Hell
His sightless soul may stray. – Oscar Wilde