John Ruskin Quotes in The Art of Travel
A dominant impulse on encountering beauty is to wish to hold on to it, to possess it and give it weight in one’s life. There is an urge to say, “I was here, I saw this and it mattered to me.”
The camera blurs the distinction between looking and noticing, between seeing and possessing; it may give us the option of true knowledge, but it may also unwittingly make the effort of acquiring that knowledge seem superfluous. It suggests that we have done all the work simply by taking a photograph, whereas proper eating of a place—a woodland, for example—requires that we pose ourselves a series of questions such as “How do the stems connect to the roots?” “Where is the mist coming from?” “Why does one tree seem darker than another?” These questions are implicitly asked and answered in the process of sketching.
“I believe that the sight is a more important thing than the drawing; and I would rather teach drawing that my pupils may learn to love nature, than teach the looking at nature that they may learn to draw.”
The reason people were not looking was that they had never done so before. They had fallen into the habit of considering their universe to be boring—and their universe had duly fallen into line with their expectations.