I read an artist's thoughts the other day about the visual landscape we live in and how it communicates to us constantly, often in ways we don't consciously recognize. Given that I'm an artist, I guess it'd be natural to assume that I think about visual communication a lot. But, I actually don't, day to day. Not consciously at least. I don't think about what I'm trying to say when I make a pieces of art. I just make it, and then the message, if there is one, may become clear. Or not.
But this ambiguity doesn't mean that what I make doesn't affect others, or that the surrounding visual landscape doesn't affect me. It does, but I think the impact happens on a less conscious, but deeper level. The sentiment that stood out to me from what I read was this: "The way we perceive is not only with the eyes. We can identify things by appearance, but in reality, we are perceiving the substance of the matter." And I thought, yes. This is exactly how humans engage with the world. Visual recognition takes only an instant, but in that same moment we register somewhere inside of us the very substance or energy of what we are seeing. For good or for bad, this innate substance of something is what impacts our hearts and spirits. This is how we truly "see." The eyes are just a tool for registering an image that then proceeds to penetrate a deeper layer within.