Day 1 / Write 28 Days: Noticing

Honestly, I’m not sure what I’m going to use the next 27 days for except that I want to explore the idea of noticing more.

Noticing what’s in front of me.

Noticing the small things that make up the big things, and the larger story made up of smaller moments. And noticing the truth, lies, shades, soft and hard places, colours, textures, times when change happens and times when nothing happens, or nothing seems to happen, within the moments and the stories.

Noticing the light as it moves through the house, and as I walk outside for an hour on a winter’s day and the pale or bright sunlight changes in that time, the shadows shrink, the snow glistens, the contours become clear or flatten. Noticing the shadows.

Noticing my reactions and my reactions to those reactions. Noticing my urges. Noticing my ambivalence.

Noticing what I hear when I’m not listening and what I hear when I’m trying to listen. The barking dog right now. The bird songs that make up a pleasant background or that make me concentrate with a frown to remember which song that is. Noticing what people say and don’t say.

Noticing what I see from the corner of my eye, like the shrew that darted from the place I’d been focusing on a split second after I stopped focusing on that spot without ever noticing the shrew. What would it be like to notice like the shrew notices?

Noticing how things relate, like plants in the garden, plants and animals in the garden, and which animals depend on which plants and which plants on which animals and whether there is a tiny spider where I’m about to place my foot.

Noticing how things relate, like people, in person, on Zoom and on phone calls, on social media, in emails and texts, in groups and one-on-one. Noticing how strangers interact. Noticing how friendships begin, shift, or end. Noticing the nuances.

Noticing the nuances anywhere. The insignificant things. What’s not obvious at a single glance, or maybe it is.

Noticing evidence. The remains of the day. What lingers. Clues to what’s going on. Tracks and trails. What’s left behind. The smell of smoke. Perfume.

Noticing the music I hear in my head before I fall asleep most nights. Last night it was country music. It’s never a song I know, or even a song, or maybe it is.

Noticing, trying again to notice, what my dreams are telling me as I sleep through them night after night, waking up and remembering them like the tide washing the beach urgently then vanishing back into deep sea while the sand is already drying. Noticing what the sea carries. Noticing how the sand has changed.

Noticing grief. Noticing despair. Noticing the places of crisis, the times of transition. Noticing the in-between spaces, neither here nor there, void and packed with portents. Noticing solace and forgiveness. Noticing a respite, a reprieve, breath.

Noticing what was here and now it’s not. What wasn’t here and now it is. The space where something was. What’s changed. What hasn’t. What persists. What never leaves a mark.

Noticing what’s in front of me. Offering it attention.


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