Today is Day 8. I am so glad you are here. No really. Because practicing the art of noticing is exponentially better when you are here. If you would like to read in reverse, days 1-7, just click here to play catch up. It is safe to say I am a bit smitten by the art of noticing. And with all art forms comes practice. Diving into our craft, our art, no matter what form it takes and working at improving, fine-tuning. It goes on for all of our days. And this noticing, it involves all our senses and some additional tools too. My camera is my third eye, my second brain, my backup band-width for my memory. It is my journal. Would you like to pull up a seat for Day 8? It is chilly today and Autumn is sneaking into my life, changing the colors of the sky. Bringing with her sweaters and the beginning of a crunchy sound under my feet and in my food. Grains and apples. The bite of a cold morning.
If we were having coffee, mine would be pumpkin something. Welcome to 31 Days of Noticing.
There is a tension in my life. One of trying to record moments without any tools. My husband, I call him The Patient One, constantly encourages me to put my camera down. I simply cannot. I love the art form of photography. I am constantly stretching myself to see the world in new ways…..from behind the camera lens. As writer I rely on my camera as an important tool. When I sit down to write my poetry I often use a photograph as a prompt to trigger memory, to fire the neurons in my brain, to recall details and images. Is it a crutch. If so, it is an exquisite crutch. Though I am a novice, I love taking photographs.
But my husband believes that translates to my being “less present”. He sees it as a distraction. He reminds me of the importance of being in the moment, fully present. Maybe he is encouraging me to put down the visual aid and to enlist only my God given parts and pieces of myself.
So we dance, when we are together. Around this. I pull out my camera and start snapping, clicking, finger trigger-happy on my camera which is my phone, which is my camera.
Maybe I don’t trust my memory. Perhaps because Dementia runs in our family. Perhaps I feel less and less capable of recalling and remembering the scope of detail, the infinite amount of beauty in the people and landscape of my day. Perhaps I see myself as an archivist. The family historian. And honestly, I love the art form that is photography. It reminds me of where I have been and what I have seen.
And my photographs help me to focus on gratitude, love, and a “right” perspective.
Time stops for the camera but not for me. Beauty freezes in the click of my camera, but not for me. My poetry and my writing rely often of long periods of time spent reviewing my life through my lens. The lens of my photography.
I am a visual being. I know that about myself.
So as long as I have this extension to my other senses, I will take hundreds and hundreds of photographs. And I will share them with you. Are they perfect? No. Are they blurry? Sometimes yes. Are they technically perfect? Well, no.
But they help my noticing, my writing, my poetry. And they bring me so much joy.
It is my privilege and joy to be on this journey with you. This time of exploring the art of seeing our world, really noticing it. Here are a few images I’d like to share with you. Will I see you on Day 9? Oh I hope so.
Ready, set, go notice.