My Blood Whispers to Me

Window edge


“I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.”
― Hermann Hesse


Do you ever look at something with both eyes,

then close one eye to view the same thing from the perspective of the open eye,

then switch

to see from the other eye,

and finally look again with both eyes.


“What could I say to you that would be of value, except that perhaps you seek too much, that as a result of your seeking you cannot find.”
― Hermann Hesse


Recently I’ve been doing this regularly,

not for reasons of wanting to catch sight of what I may be missing,

although it does at times bring to my attention elements in the scene which I may have not noticed,

nor have I been doing it to get a more cohesive view of what lies ahead,

although it can do that, surprising the mind with details to which it had been blind,

but because it seems that my left eye and my right have a different focal point.


“He has robbed me, yet he has given me something of greater value . . . he has given to me myself.”
― Hermann Hesse


I was wondering why when I manually focus my camera, the shots I take are blurry even though I was certain that they were in sharper focus than when I use autofocus.

But a photograph never lies to please us the way that we sometimes do… and when I review the shots I have taken what I thought was in focus is not, while what I thought wasn’t in focus is.

I always use my left eye to look through the camera’s window on the world, but it seems that lefty sees things with blurred vision. Perhaps I should switch to the right eye and see if it has a sharper view as it does when I look through one eye and then the other.


“The things we see are the same things that are within us. There is no reality except the one contained within us. That is why so many people live such an unreal life. They take the images outside them for reality and never allow the world within to assert itself.”
― Hermann Hesse


Putting the practical side aside (such as that perhaps I should visit an eye doctor… but I do hate being tested by others, even though I enjoy testing others… and myself),

this split in my vision,

with one side blurry and the other sharp (but is it really sharp or does it just seem that way compared to the other…?),

with one side short-sighted and the other long-sighted (maybe),

with one side looking at the here and now while the other is looking off into some distant distance,

is reflective of my state of mind at any given time.


“His life oscillates, as everyone’s does, not merely between two poles, such as the body and the spirit, the saint and the sinner, but between thousands and thousands.”
― Hermann Hesse


A part of me can only see what is here and now,

while another part of me is seeking to see what is beyond the here and now that I see…

likes testing what I see, calling it into question…

and these two parts tend to argue about…


No wonder I find it so hard to make even the simplest of decisions.

Such as the one shown in the pic above… I was trying to decide what to do this morning, whether to go outside or stay in, whether to do what the world outside held within it for me, or whether to do what the world inside offered.


“One must find the source within one’s own Self, one must possess it. Everything else was seeking — a detour, an error.”
― Hermann Hesse


The world outside beckoned with the golden promises of the sun, and perhaps some fun in the sun even though…

(what I offered myself to do outside today was… move earth or chop wood).

it is crisply cold of the kind which is not conducive to doing anything but popping outside long enough to wish one was inside again, in the warmth of the dark.

Yet the world outside offered simpler pleasures…

while the world inside led to more decisions to be made between this and that…

(amongst which was to finish stripping the crimson paint, the decorative blood of another, off the ceiling in the hallway – this entails a precarious perching and position of body… one moment of badly timed distraction due to an errant eye and I may come tumbling down, and down…)

and the consequences either way needed a longer view to assess them.

If I do this, it will lead to that, which will require some of the other… do I want to do it all?

I may think that I do, or think that I must do what I think… but is it thought seen through the left eye or the right one?


purple gold


“Whither will my path yet lead me? This path is stupid, it goes in spirals, perhaps in circles, but whichever way it goes, I will follow it.”
― Hermann Hesse


Perhaps it would be easier to make decisions if I was marooned on a desert island

but then I’d have to decide what five items to have,

as though the fate which led me to that place would actually ask me what I wanted (and give it to me) rather than just offer me no choice… or offer me the choice of what was there, in that here and now, and challenge me to make do with that (which could be rather bountiful depending on the desert island).

What five things would I choose to have if such a decision were mine?

Would I ask for clarity of vision or stick with having one blurry eye, while the other seems focused compared to the blurry one?


“I see you suffering, but you’re suffering a pain at which one would like to laugh, at which you’ll soon laugh for yourself.”
― Hermann Hesse


I’ve often found that what I think I can’t do without, I can do without once I can’t have it.

And sometimes those things which I thought were useless turn out to be very useful… while those things which I thought were useful, which I clung to for dear life, packed in my bags or pockets wherever I wandered (even though they were heavy and bulky), turn out to be useless.

I don’t have many things left over from my previous lives. When you move around a lot you learn (the hard way) to let things go, to travel lightly…

and hope you’ll have what you need…

what you really need rather than what you think you need…

hope that the places you end up have the resources to allow you to live there without wishing you kept all those things you didn’t keep…

Oh, the things we keep worrying that these things won’t be there when we need them… (should I keep this empty jar? I might need it to put something squishy that needs a jar to hold it or else it’ll be lost forever) and we end up carrying the world on our shoulders everywhere (even though what you actually use of the world can be found all over the world and you don’t need to take it with you, it’s always there… give your shoulders a break and stop trying to break them).


“I will no longer mutilate and destroy myself in order to find a secret behind the ruins.”
― Hermann Hesse


What I do have is…

a Swiss Knife (the knife of which is blunt),

a handkerchief (too small to wear on my head or anywhere other than a nose),

an old Winter coat (which is warmer than anything new I have tried and not bought, it has worn well and is well worn),

a bikini bottom (which never came with a top…),

and a skewed sense of self (which is the Swiss knife of the inner world, and most useful when dealing with a world that also has a skewed sense of self when viewed through the eyes of those who inhabit it).

That’s all I need… or is it?



  1. The idea that if we look too hard we won’t find is universal and true. Perspective is everything; the only reality, I suppose. I remember playing the “one eye and then the other” a lot when I was a kid. It still appeals and is a good reminder of how we see (or don’t see). It’s all in the eye of the beholder. 🙂


  2. I forget how I initially came across the Hermann Hesse quote you have displayed above the others but the truth in that simple quote was almost immediately life changing for me, upon those words entering my mind.

    I knew before I read another word of your page you HAD TO BE an artist. I too found a satisfaction and love for photography, then was introduced by pure happenstance to Photoshop. After teaching myself how to use it for what I envisioned, I realized I had also learned some things about myself which subsequently lead me to begin painting.
    I would photograph things and instead of seeing them for what they were, I would see them for what they could become. I would then use Photoshop to manipulate the photo and render the initial study which would be the basis of a painting. I must admit I enjoyed the process as much as the end result.
    I also enjoyed reading your page and even found a new favorite Hesse quote. Thank you for your beautiful expression of your inner and outer vision. Your perspective can guide perception and perception guides reality. You seem like a wonderful person to know.
    Take care…. Paul


    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      There is something about teaching yourself to do something which is intensely satisfying to the inner realm, and allows what’s inside to emerge, revealing itself to you and revealing you to yourself, and then maybe to others too.

      Your description of moving from photography to painting, blending the two in an artistic dance, reminded me of my father’s approach to his art. He was a painter who later used a camera to capture moments, things, places, people, in which he saw something. The photographs would later be used to remind himself of what he had seen, which wasn’t necessarily what was in the photograph. He sometimes saw something new, something he hadn’t seen before. Sometimes he would blend several photos into one painting, taking bits from here and there – in a similar way that quotes from an author appeal to something within us, and maybe we take quotes from one author, from another, and blend them together into our own creation, a creation which expresses ourselves to us, and then maybe to others.

      Creativity is our personal perception perceiving itself 🙂

      Take care too, and take care of the wonderful muse within!


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