Yesterday, I had lunch with Joe Feeney, a Jesuit priest who has just published The Playfulness of Gerard Manley Hopkins. He told that Hopkins thought that if you look at something with attention and care you will sense that it is looking back.
I recently wrote a piece, which I fear may never see the light of print - about T.H. White's The Goshawk and J.A. Baker's The Peregrine - in which I make the point that, more and more, we allow our experiences to be mediated for us, clapping on headphones to go through an art exhibition rather than just using our eyes to look at the paintings. I am often amazed at how much people think they know about nature because of what they read about it - as opposed to actually experiencing and observing it.