Digital Vision

The blue/black earth of a trench in the Vicus. Photograph by Avery Lafortune.

Today I am learning to see with my hands

To look with my fingertips

To understand with my grasp

To reach into the shadows and find what was lost


When eyes are easily tricked

We must look in other ways

Searching through damp softness

Wading through scents of days gone by

Seeking a sign that must be found

We know it is here


But when the earth is black and blue

And the sun is choked by cloud

And time has caked itself onto every surface

We must look beyond what we cannot see


Rummage through the nothingness

Feel for the smoothness, the consistent, the firm

Glide the edge along your thumb

Made by hand?

Or made by land?


Sort the straight from the organic

The regular, the measured betray the presence of men

Of women

The tapered, the uneven, quietly whisper

“Crafted by nature”


What do you feel?

Does it splinter beneath your soft touch?

Does water collect on its surface?

Has it been carefully shaped?

Have other hands been there before?


It is not so different

From searching for the light

In the middle of the night

Run you hand along the wall

Feel for the plastic switch in the dark


Trust your hands

You have done this before

Plunging them into a hamper

Sifting through puddles of silk and cotton

Fingertips can always find the right pair of jeans


Be careful

but do not be afraid

Your hands can see the difference

between silk and denim

Wood and bone

Rock and pottery

Human and nature


Dive into the darkness

Feel for a buried world

Everything is here

If you know how to look

Happily sifting through the earth. Photographs (L-R) 1 and 2 by Anna Furfaro, 3 by Aline McQueen

One thought on “Digital Vision

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