Thursday, November 6, 2014

Lost & Found

Zestful Blog Post #78

Today let us speak of the things around the edges of life. Lost things, detritus, discards. Everything tells a story—or could, in your hands.

We can't give everything in the world around us our deep attention every minute; we're constantly making thousands of conscious and unconscious choices as to what to pay attention to. But a way to develop as an author—or artist, craftsperson, inventor, human being—is to be open. That is, to give some consciousness to the stuff around the edges.

Something catches

your eye. You can categorize it and move on, like especially if you're running late for a therapy appointment. Or you can pause and let that edge thing register a bit more deeply.

My friend Sandra Moran, a prizewinning author, routinely stops and photographs interesting litter. At first I thought, "That's cool," then I decided it wasn't, because maybe it makes you keep your head down too much. Plus litter tends to be dirty, and who likes looking at dirty stuff all the time?

Then, recently, I was walking through a parking lot and noticed a lost baby sock on the ground. I stopped, looked, and took a picture. Actually

I took two. Because somehow I saw potential, even apart from the purely visual aspect of the composition of the soft baby sock lying on the rough macadam. My heartbrain was stimulated, I saw story, I saw possibility.

There's the story of the sock itself—spun and woven in a mill somewhere, according to a pattern devised by some baby-sock designer, then mated with an identical twin, packaged, shipped, shelved, and purchased.

There's the story of the baby, the mother and father, the family. Is the family poor, and will this lost trifle cause hardship? Did the baby kick it off or did a small sibling pull it off for the hell of it and throw it? Was the baby wanted? Was the sock wanted? What else might be missing in that baby's life?

Do you see how there is story everywhere?

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  1. I understand. One day during the summer I spotted a little rowboat in a garden. It had been left out in the rain the night before. There was something about the sight of it and then hearing birds chirping that it inspired a poem. I didn't have time to write the lines that flew into my mind down because I had to catch my bus. So I memorized them until I reached the bus stop and worked on the poem until I got to work.

    1. Cool, Lidy! Thank you for sharing that experience with us.


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