Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I See You

I saw the movie, Avatar, recently. Now, whatever you think about the movie and plot as a whole, and whether you are able to suspend your disbelief about it or not, I can say that it affected me deeply.

I didn't expect anything of the movie except significant visual impact. We saw the 3-D version. It did not disappoint. It was beautiful and breathtaking. What I didn't expect was to feel truly inspired by the lead Na'vi female character, named Neytiri.

She is strong, mentally, physically and emotionally. She is connected with nature and respects and appreciates the animals that are killed for food. She shows compassion. She has grace. She expresses a strong sense of faith and belief. She is respected in her community and she is aware of her peoples' history and memories. She is daring and brave and happy.

Since seeing the movie, I hold her image in my mind, asking myself "What would she do?". This question pushes me to try harder, to complain less, to try new things, to express what I think, to be loyal to my values.

The movie also reinforced my need for more peace in my life. I need to carve out physical space to do yoga, to write, to meditate, to think, somewhere quiet without technology or interruptions. I want to connect more with nature, to heighten my awareness of the beauty around me, even in the dead of winter. I want to improve my connection with memory and ancestors and stories and identity.

The Na'vi greet each other by saying "I see you." Joy wrote about this on her blog recently, too. Susan Scott in Fierce Conversations (p.92) notes this phrase in use by tribes in South Africa who say "sawu bona" (I see you) and respond with "sikhona" (I am here). Scott says "The order of the exchange is important: until you see me, I do not exist. It's as if, when you see me, it brings me into existence." It emphasizes the need for presentness and connection. I need to remember this, to focus on being present and on seeing people more clearly, to truly listen and connect.


  1. I loved that she didn't cave and become a mooshy female character once she fell in love. The core of her character remained the same and as a writer, that impressed me since it's one of my pet peeves in literature.

    She was certainly inspiring. She had to act contrary to her instincts (accepting the sign from Eywa, teaching Jake), but eventually, she let herself grow from the experience.

    I want to be seen so I can see. Or vice versa, I want to see so I can be seen. (My parents call it understanding to be understood.) Which do you think comes first? Seeing or being seen?

    I think seeing, because we only really have control over ourselves, but there is so much about being seen that validates me and makes me confident enough to try new things and learn and grow.

  2. Kate, you said it exactly! I completely agree with you, her strength and loyalty to her values both in and out of love was something I really admired. The character development was fascinating to me.

    I think seeing comes first too, mostly because in order to be seen, we need to make ourselves available and open to seeing others first. If I am willing to see someone else, then perhaps I make myself available for them to see me.

    It gives me such a wonderful validating and vulnerable feeling. I love your insight - thank yuo so much for contributing to the conversation!

  3. the greeting, I see you, is so meaningful to me because for many people it is rare to feel truly seen. i'm glad you called it out, daphne. warmly, susan scott

  4. Daphne, great post.

    I especially love the last part and I find much depth in those 3 simple words 'I See You'. Much more than simply seeing the physical 'you' with our eyes, but with our hearts and our souls.

  5. Susan, I am so honored that you wanted to comment on my humble blog. I am an avid follower of Fierce Conversations and your book has helped me in my journey towards self-realization. Thank you so much for writing your book and for encouraging me to be the best I can be. Thank you for commenting and for visiting my blog.

    To all of my readers, this is Susan Scott, the one I blather on about often in my blog. I almost screamed like a fan-girl when I saw her comment on my blog. I cannot recommend her book, Fierce Conversations, enough. I'll be reading her most recent, Fierce Leadership, soon.

  6. Ian, thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate your feedback and support! It really is about more than seeing with our eyes, just as you said. In yoga, my instructor talks about being "heart-centered" and I think this mentality helps us to open ourselves to seeing and being seen.

  7. Great post! I haven't seen Avatar but after reading your article and Joy's on the subject I definitely want to check it out. Thanks Daphne!

  8. Hi Daphne! I see you! I also see I've been "missing" your blog lately, shame on me! I've been trying to spend less time on line to write and nothing is working the way I thought it would - and worst of all I've missed my favorite blogs - poobah! So much for efficiency.

    Haven't seen this movie - soon I'll be the only one on the planet that hasn't I'm sure, haha! Have you read "Gifts from Eykis" by Wayne Dyer? It's his only fiction - it's excellent! Talk about a new perspective!


  9. Jodi - Thank you! Let me know what you think of it - I know people have had mixed reactions and I really highlighted my favorite parts.

    suZen - It's good to see you back here! It can be hard to balance our time and I appreciate you taking the time to come by my blog. No need to see it if you're not moved to - much of it might not appeal. I haven't read the book you mentioned so I'll look in to it. Thanks!


I welcome and appreciate your comments!