intake,

intentional sensory submersion, perception trained to keep in focus the whole and its parts, deeper and deeper down, simultaneously; a “sense of infinite wonder” at perceiving the reality at a full range of scales and modalities. Its that irresistible impulse to come up to a big tree to see, touch, smell the trunk up close; to dive headlong into a meadow, a cloud, a forest lake whose passing beauty jolted you; to squint, ascending, into the starry sky — to take it in as deep as you can “and not exhale.” You never know where or when may the call come, will the first stay itch flourish as intake, how long — seconds, days — or how fulfilling is it going to be: just stop, open your eyes, sense the world eagerly, thoughtlessly — grow into here as your momentary eternal home.  ■    It may not buy you any new understandings; often associated with nature, intake can open on anything sufficiently complex — chaos, degradation, meaningless churn can be intaken just as deeply as art; “intake of a being is love.” Seek the characteristic “wide eye” — “dreamy alertness”: slowed-down reading, temporal stretching, physically inhaling are simple techniques to precipitate a ripening intake; you dont have to be idle or free of pressing obligations — on the contrary, being torn between a duty call and powerful staylust amplifies the epiphany. Small intakes are routine, outstanding ones are “a handful per life” — but the true amplitude of an experience only transpires afterwards by its capacity to nostalgize. A misjudged intake attempt fizzles out into boredom, annoyance: never overstretch an intake, try to leave right after youve had the peak torque; do not scramble for another intake where you had one before — like any nostalgia, it is deceptive, revisiting past intakes yields quickly diminishing returns.  ■    Vision-dominated intake is usefully classified into “macro” (in-depth, examining life up close) and “tele” (in-farth, intaking whole scapes from across or ahigh). A distinct variety is road intake: careless coasting, saturating oneself with the unfolding world, inhaling things as they enlarge and pass. Some promote the art of fast snapshot intake or inst, others strive to be “always on the intake”; expectably, the original concept has slackened and diffused, highlighting elements of intake in dissimilar practices and mindstates.  ■    First childhood intakes are spontaneous, brief, pass mostly unnoticed — only to emerge in reminiscences years later. It takes experience to recognize an intake as it happens, and children are taught it — for “nothing grown-uppish compares to a childs intake”: “Ask the players to enumerate, with eyes closed, all the distinct sounds they hear in a winter forest: tiny wind howls, tree trunk squeaks, a crow cawing, damped whirrs under the snow, faint faraway music… the longer youre listening, the deeper you sink, the more you hear”: the world is entering you.

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