New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Works in Progress

February 02, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Family, Robert C. Koehler

Participating in Our Lives and Histories

by Robert C. Koehler

I’m sitting in my daughter’s Baltimore apartment thinking about works in progress. This city is a work in progress and its pockets of vibrancy delight me, partly because, like my own hometown, Detroit, it is too frequently written off in the national mindset as broken, dying — above all, an undesirable place to live.

My apolitical thought on this rainy January afternoon is this: Shatter in your own mind the prejudgments of popular culture, the grinning media dictates of who or what is in and who or what is out. Shatter also any notion of what you can and can’t do.

My daughter the artist. I spent the day at the art school she attends, sat in with the students doing oil painting – painted my first egg. The experience was a stunning exercise in the observation of light and shadow, and the instructor joyously allowed me to be a beginner. I was able to participate.

The physicist David Bohm and others have used the term “participatory consciousness,” which I take to mean the awareness that no truth is complete or solid or locked into place without us. (more…)