Anne Notations

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Time out

Hey, you. Yeah, you, Mr. or Ms. Busy Person. You with the wall-to-wall appointments, the looming deadlines, the worries and pressures and messed-up friends and relatives. You running out of Starbucks with a hot cup of foamy caffeine and a tote bag filled with memos and minutes. You with the whiny toddler and the sagging bags of groceries. You with the ailing parent. Yes, I mean YOU!

Stop. Just stop what you're doing for one minute, take slow deep breaths, look around, and find something beautiful. Gaze out the window if that helps. For once, don't look at the big picture. Find a detail and really look at it. It can be small, but powerful -- its power deriving, in part, from your attention. Acknowledge its unique lines or patterns or curves. Remark upon its color and the way that color relates to others near it. Think about what attracted your eye to this one particular thing. Write down a description of it. Sketch it in pencil, ink, crayon -- whatever you have close at hand. Take a photograph. Take more. See what you have seen in new ways. How do you feel?

OK, you can go back to your hectic workaday life now. Just promise me you will do this several times a week. Make seeing, really seeing, one of your habits ... like brushing your teeth or charging your cell-phone battery. Because beauty is everywhere, in a single tiny leaf on the pavement, in the twisted silhouette of a bare old tree. In these waning days of autumn, color waves beauty's flag at us, signals "Hello! This is all for you." We'd be fools not to stop and look.*

On morning walks with Daisy, I find scraps of sacred beauty in our urban streets and modest yards.

*For an amazing journey of awareness in this vein, please read A Life of One's Own by Joanna Field, the pseudonym of Marion Milner, who as a young woman in 1920s England sought through mindful observation and expression to know her world -- and thus, herself -- more fully.


  • Oh Anne, those pictures are stunning. Thanks for giving us the "pause" we all need in our lives.

    By Blogger denlover, at Thu Nov 09, 10:08:00 PM EST  

  • Anne: This morning we were pulling out of the driveway and Harper yelled, "Look at that tree!" I thought I was going to hit a tree, but she was pointing out a flaming red tree shot through with sun--it was extraordinary. I was so pleased she had picked up this small detail, and to read your blog today was totally affirming.

    By Anonymous Kath, at Fri Nov 10, 12:07:00 PM EST  

  • Thank you so much for reminding us to enjoy little things...of stopping for a moment and just breathing. The pictures are a great reminder of the simple beauties of nature.

    By Blogger Beth, at Sat Nov 11, 06:54:00 PM EST  

  • Thanks, I needed that!

    By Blogger Bozoette, at Thu Nov 16, 04:26:00 PM EST  

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