Persistence of Vision

Persistence of Vision …

… is the effect where the visual perception of an object continues for some time after the light rays from the object have stoped entering your eyes.

Try this: Look an object for a minute.  Stare, don’t blink, don’t move your head, just look.  Best done when there is a lot of contrast between the object and its background.  Look at a hill, a person, a painting, a parked car … now close your eyes and see the thing still drifting before you as it shifts and slowly melts away.

It explains movies.  It explains seeing long lost friends.  It explains why we can see without looking.

What is vision? Is it seeing a thing? Opening our eyes and perceiving the light reflected from a thing? Does it only work in the day or when the lights are on?

Close your eyes and think of the beach on a warm summer day.  See the sand and the waves.  There, a bird flies over head and look down to see the seaweed washing ashore.  Move towards the water.  Now you can hear the waves and feel the chill of the water as it washes over your toes.  Hear the laughter of the children running towards the retreating water, then hear the screams of delight as the next wave floods their feet with foamy waves.

How long ago was it – when you were at the beach?

Vision, more than here and now.  More that sight and sound.  Dream like, yet some how real.  We remember things long ago or if we dare, things that might be.

Stand on Everest looking out from the roof of the world.  Feel the exhilaration of getting there.  Feel the bone weariness, feel the cold wind, and take a breath of thin air.

Sit at the view port of your star ship and marvel at the new planet filling your eyes as you race across the lightyears.

Picture a painting you’d like to make.  Think of a story you’d like to tell.  Describe the kind of world you’d like to build.  These are visions to hold close – to close your eyes and still see.  In your mind’s eye, build the vision of your grand design.  Hold it, shape it, make it yours.

Now, if you’re a writer, write,

If you’re a painter, paint,

If you’re a musician, play,

If you’re a singer, sing,

If you’re a dancer, dance …

When you build a vision, share it so that it will always persist.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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19 Responses to Persistence of Vision

  1. t_r_a_v_e_l_l_e_r says:

    Useful and informative 👌👌


  2. Wonderful thoughts, Andrew. Thank you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It also makes us wonder how we ever denied the importance of ‘visual learning’ for so long. Now, we know it’s huge.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Debra says:

    I really love this sharing, Andrew. I so completely agree with you. I have a unique perspective, as does each individual. It’s my gift to myself to speak and share and create from that point of view. It’s lovely when it resonates with others, but not essential. Beautifully shared, Andrew.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A wonderfully inspiring post, thanks Andrew. Even in these dark times we can retreat into our own place of solitude or better still create something we can share to brighten the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Christi says:

    Ah, this reminded me of a Ted Talk I saw on effective practice. One of the steps (besides actual physical practice) was to imagine yourself doing the thing you’re trying to do, whether playing a piece of music, shooting basketballs, whatever. They said it’s almost as effective as doing the thing itself — just see yourself do it!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Awesome! And right now, during this crazy time, we need to persist with vision for certain.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I find that dreams fall into the category of Persistence of Vision. We dream of the past. We dream of those we knew and no longer see. We dream of how we may envision the future. I love waking from a dream where it feels so real that I have to take a few minutes to remember where I am. Especially those ‘warm and fuzzy’ dreams that bring joy and contentment. I wish we could teach ourselves to dream like that every time we need to escape reality for just a bit. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

    I love looking at something pleasant and burning it into my memory. You are right in that we can pull on those visions anywhere and any time. It is a matter of looking inside our conscious selves.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Dave says:

    I can be on a particular beach in San Diego whenever I want because it is my very favorite place. Every little detail is permanently cataloged in my brain. Your initial exercise – which is fascinating – reminded me of computer screen-savers, designed with movement so the image doesn’t get burned into the screen. I haven’t heard about that concern in a long time, so perhaps technology found a way to fix that problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Teressa says:

    Nice! Particularly like the encouragement as conclusion. Thank-you.

    Liked by 1 person

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