The seeing eye

Mýrdalsjökull
Mýrdalsjökull, Iceland (June 2015).

“No, when evening came and we sat down to watch a film we wanted to be entertained. And it had to be with as little effort and inconvenience as possible. It was the same with everything. I hardly read books anymore; if there was a newspaper around I would prefer to read that. And the threshold just kept rising. It was idiotic because this life gave you nothing, it only made time pass. If we saw a good film it stirred us and set things in motion, for that is how it is, the world is always the same, it is the way we view it that changes. Everyday life, which could bear down on us like a foot treading on a head, could also transport us with delight. Everything depended on the seeing eye. If the eye saw the water that was everywhere in Tarkovsky’s films, for example—which changed the world into a kind of terrarium, where everything trickled and ran, floated and drifted, where all the characters could melt away from the picture and only coffee cups on a table were left, filling slowly with the falling rain, against a background of intense, almost menacing green vegetation—yes, then the eye would also be able to see the same wild, existential depths unfold in everyday life. For we were flesh and blood, sinew and bone, around us plants and trees grew, insects buzzed, birds flew, clouds drifted, rain fell. The eye that gave meaning to the world was a constant possibility, but we almost always decided against it, at least it was like that in our lives.”

— Karl Ove Knausgaard, My Struggle, Book 2

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