“Our visual field, the entire view of what we can see when we look out into the world, is divided into billions of tiny spots or pixels.”
As I drove from Chico to Red Bluff a few nights ago, I tried to clear my mind of worry and focus on the road and the scenes around me. The sky was filled with twenty shades of pink and purple; to my right there were fields that stretched as far as I could see with cows munching on grass and groves of olive trees. The mountains seemed to be bogged down with light gray clouds and when I entered the City of Corning, I stopped by the Petro gas station to look at the birds.
I know it sounds strange that I pulled over to watch birds but their behavior was so engaging I was entranced and I didn’t want to risk wrecking the car. Right above the Petro sign there were thousands of birds circling in the sky. They reminded me of tumbleweeds blowing in the wind. It seemed like they were caught in a big loop, circling up and down and then up again.
As I watched the birds, I kept thinking about Jill Bolte Taylor’s explanation of pixels and how visual images are “built by our brain’s ability to package groups of pixels together in the form of edges.” In her book, My Stroke of Insight, she goes on to say:
“Each pixel is filled with atoms and molecules that are in vibration. The retinal cells in the back of our eyes detect the movement of those atomic particles. Atoms vibrating at different frequencies emit different wavelengths of energy, and this information is eventually coded as different colors by the visual cortex in the occipital region of our brain.”
My little iPhone camera didn’t capture the birds very well but if you look really closely you’ll see little black dots in the photo above.
As you begin your weekend pay attention to the details, to the tiny pixels in your world. Notice the depth, color, and motion of what you see.