Raindrops – Gustave Caillebotte
Caillebotte painted a visual description of our minds. The background, the environment of trees and cloudy sky reflect on the surface of the pool while individual raindrops, like thoughts, delight or disturb.
Fundamental to all the great spiritual traditions is the training of attention. If you are engaged by Caillebotte’s painting, the tool that produces engagement is your ability to be attentive.
Nadia Boulanger, teacher to most of the great composers and musicians of the twentieth century, comments on attentiveness:
“From the first I grew up with this absolute attentiveness, which is vital to self-awareness. With certain people there is such a force of concentration that everything becomes important; with others, everything passes and is forgotten; no evolution is possible because whatever is produced immediately dissolves.
Some people are capable of loving, of interesting themselves in what they’re doing, whatever it may be, for its own sake. I would say that anyone who acts without paying attention to what he is doing is wasting his life. I’d go as far as to say that life is denied by lack of attention, whether it be to cleaning windows or trying to write a masterpiece.”
I only see you if I pay attention. I only exist, in my own eyes, if I pay attention to myself…