Finding and Searching: Lessons from a red feather

I love the art of Rosalie Gascoigne and recently, in preparation for going to The Daylight Moon, an exhibition of her work at Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, I read a number of interviews she had done. Here’s one where the link works! In one with James Gleeson (and alas this link is NOT working!) he asks if the material she works with is material that she has searched for and found almost anywhere? She took great pains to correct his choice of words:

I have not searched for it—I have found it…Yes. I just look at what’s available, and I think ‘I like that’, or ‘That does something for me’—and that’s what I take.  

I was intrigued by her distinction and decided that during the week I would do some  writing about searching and finding. It would make tortured reading but was enlightening and fascinating for me.  I am a finder.

Recently, as I walked up Mt. Ainslie (conveniently situated behind our back fence) I found a gloriously vermillion feather just off the path. It was possibly from a crimson rosella or a King Parrot. And fortunately for you gentle reader, it summarized my photo 2cumbersome writing. I was not searching for the feather. I had no expectation of finding the feather. I noticed it. It was there, ready to be found.  I could have stayed warm in bed and not found the feather.  I could have been powering up that hill (unlikely!) so fast that I did not see it. I could have been so intently searching for blue feathers or lovely bark that I didn’t notice this fabulous feather.

It did something for me and I picked it up.  I might use it in something and I might not. That is not the point.  For me, finding means being in the place where you might find things. It means being open; it means being mindful and observant and grateful. It means being playful and exploratory and open to receive.

Thank you Rosalie, thank you red feathered bird.



6 thoughts on “Finding and Searching: Lessons from a red feather

  1. Deb Hunt

    And thank you for sharing your find. I love the idea of setting out without any idea of what you are looking for. Like Picasso said, if you know what you’re going to paint, what’s the point in painting it? (or something like that!)

    1. wendy Post author

      Oooh, I love that quote! I haven’t heard that one Deb. I am trying to practice that openness in life in general! Not easy but worth doing I think. Looking forward to you joining me on some walks!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *