In Fly By Night, artist Duke Riley trained 2,000 pigeons to fly above the Brooklyn Navy Yard at dusk with tiny lights attached to their legs. The performance invites us to really SEE something we are so accustomed to that we’ve become blind to it: the graceful flight of common pigeons. Says Riley:

Pigeons are actually paying quite a bit of attention to us all the time. Just as people do, they’re constantly learning and watching and absorbing and taking in information and paying a lot of attention to us even if we’re not paying attention any to them. 

We’ve often admire the flight of pigeons but hadn’t considered the idea of them “learning, watching, absorbing, taking in information and paying a lot of attention”.  

We’ve come across some other compelling examples of magical things hiding in plain sight IF we’d only see them…like this mysterious lip-shaped leaf.

Gustavo Matamoros
Gustavo Matamoros

Then there are the sightings that inspire embellishment and improvisation, like the massive Bougainvillea bush that Corinne Carey spotted hanging off a wall along L.A.’s 101 freeway.

heart of flowers LA Corinne Carrey
Corinne Carrey

Seeing “the bottom of a heart”, she clipped the top to enhance its shape (story here.)

Laurie Freitag
Laurie Freitag

Her act of sublime guerilla gardening, meant to be a “free gift to passersby”, has become known as “The Hollywood Heart”.

L.A. Magazine
L.A. Magazine

Frequent contributor Susan Dworski shared what she does to help her “see”:

I find a good way to refresh my vision when I’m feeling blocked creatively or just generally out of sorts, is to take my iPhone out into the streets or nature and make a game of trying to ‘see’ patterns and colors through the camera lens, bringing them home to play with later on my computer. 
“Play’ is the operative word here, for having no agenda except seeing, and no purpose except fooling around, makes for a relaxing, revivifying brain cleanse.
She alerted us to photographer Yoshinori Mizutani, whose vision shifted “One rainy day… I looked down on an intersection from a vantage point in a high-rise – umbrelllas looked like flowers that had bloomed in a city.”
Yoshinori Mizutani
Yoshinori Mizutani

All are reminders to slow down enough to look around and see…

…the wonders and possibilities around us…


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5 replies on “Wonders and Possibilities Hiding in Plain Sight

  1. The leaf looks like a set of lips to me not a heart. Not sure how to see a heart.

  2. So true! Since setting myself a goal to post an Instagram photo everyday, I notice so much more in my surroundings, even simple, everyday things like plants, flowers and household objects. Photography is one of the best mindfulness-enhancers I know.

  3. Hi the lip picture is mine it’s called “Natures lips” part of my Serendipity series i took it back in September 2013 its of a leaf on concrete not a beach like many who’ve stolen it and claimed it is. I see these things all the time. I am Fiona Young of Sydney Australia. content://media/external/file/1716 another in my series “Blue eyes green grass”

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