On Being A Writer – Notice

The idea is notto live forever,but to(4)

“I began to pay attention to life instead of letting it slip through my fingers.”

The other day I attended a bridal shower for a young woman from my church. It was a beautifully rustic set up with wooden candle holders handcrafted from a burch on her sister’s property, burlap decorating the tables, hand crafted banners and wooden accessories. My favourite part of the whole set up was the tables. There was burlap on the tables and over this burlap were some beautiful lace tableclothes. We had just arrived so many people were just mingling about and no one had really claimed a place yet. I generally carry a large purse and want to get it out of the way when i’m chatting with friends, so I went to put it down. I decided on a table that had a beautiful old lace tablecloth on it, and put my purse down. A lady whom I’m familiar with came and asked if she could sit with me. I told her of course. And then mentioned that I had picked the table because I thought it was the most beautiful with the lace cloth on the table. She looked a bit taken aback and then looked down at the table, ‘Oh, I didn’t even notice she said.’

And it seems that I’m always noticing the little things. They don’t always register along time after, but I see them in the moment. Because truth be told if you were to present to me several different lace clothes today, i wouldn’t be able to tell you the exact pattern on that table. But in that moment, it was one of the things that really caught my eye. And I can give you a general rundown of how things were set up in the room and what was one each table and the decorations which were spread about. But I don’t particularly have a photographic memory..so while those details would be front and center to me while i’m in the midst of them, they won’t necessarily be committed to memory. I did take pictures of most things (thank goodness) and that is one way that I’ve attempted to keep some of the memories contained.

“Recalling allows me to draw from a reservoir of memories, those moments when I’ve noticed and retained something in the past – something worth revisiting and possibly writing about.”

I’ve always been afraid of losing information. I am a highly sensitive person which means that I take in alot of information in my sensory perception that some people. I also have a bit of an attention issue though i’ve not been diagnosed. So while I take in a tremendous amount if there is something that doesn’t fit in a scenerio, or an extreme temperature or noise, it will override all my other sensory input at that time. I may be looking at a beautiful painting, attempting to take it in, but there is a loud buzzing electrical sound somewhere in the room that is what is coursing through my mind, not anything to do with the painting.

“The things I notice become part of my story; my work becomes more memorable, more textured, more real. I become one of those people on whom nothing is lost.”

I’ve thus had to attempt to find other ways to capture these moments. Photography is one of them. that i can at least attempt to capture the moment for later. and hopefully provide as much detail as possible so that these little things can hopefully trigger things later for me. As well, i try to write down details. I have learned that being vague is not helpful for the way my brain works. At the moment i’ll know exactly what that little quip refers to and within an hour I can look back and have not a clue, so I’ve been working on being specific in noting what I notice and writing key words for recall later when I might want to further engage the topic.

“Examine all things intensely and relentlessly.” Annie Dillard

on being a writer

joining up over at Kate’s place to reflect on each chapter of this lovely book (click on the book above)