Thursday, December 23, 2010

What about Focus?

View from my writing nook at the bookstore today

For a few minutes I had been able to block out all of the sounds going on around me and focus my attention to this keyboard and the task at hand.  I had an idea about what I wanted to write about.  A concept that seemed clever and witty.  Something that would make my readers think, maybe even challenge them to look at their own experience and find out something new about themselves.  I started the first paragraph out by asking a question. Then the second sentence ended with the same mark.  After five sentences into my bright idea I began to realize that I had no clue about the subject matter I was meaning to describe.  The series of questions I had just typed left me feeling a little clueless and lost.


I had been so excited to write today.  I had great anticipation of this opportunity to chill out at the bookstore in town and concoct a story that would fit in to all of my other published narratives.  Quickly my focus began to dwindle, and my five senses reopened to receive all of the temporary information floating all around me.  Here is what those senses captured in the brief moment they were allowed:

-I could smell a sweet mix of my cherry blossom body spray along with the pungent acidity of the coffee brewing at the barista station downstairs.

-I could hear cashier drawers ringing, salvation army bells ringing, jingle bells ringing on the shoes of a kid who just trounced on by a minute ago.

-I could see now that the lighting in this place is a quite intense.  It makes me want to shut my eyes now that I am paying attention to it.   These fluoresent contraptions that hang above... while providing an adequate source for my sight I much prefer the softer glow of a lamp or the fireplace.  I will have to keep that in mind for later writing journey's.

-At this moment I am not really tasting anything.  Strange as it sounds, not even the lingering traces of the 2 hour old coffee I just sipped seemed to have any staying power.  This is probably a good thing since nobody likes stale coffee breathe anyways.

-I still feel the aches of the yoga class I took four  days ago, stretching out my legs from time to time seems to help.  My forehead has a slight prickly feeling from the 100% acrylic woven hat I am wearing- wait not wool?  What in the heck is acrylic?

 It is very interesting to pay such close attention to the senses like that for a few moments.  It is amazing to me how much is going on all the time around us and how our minds are able to process so many different sensory inputs and messages all at once.  How wonderful if our minds are healthy enough, that we can go about all the details of our days and be able to sort out and hold onto whatever is most important to us.  We make short term and long term memories with each and every thing we do all day long, every day, whether we realize it or not.  That is really cool!

So I kind of went off on a tangent this time- not quite sure how that happened but hopefully I will be able to get back to the original writing I started and answer those questions.  Most likely I will decide to completely start over with subject matter that isn't puzzling.  Either way I am glad for anytime I ever get to mix and match these words within me.

To me, writing is a lot like my cooking.  So many times I sit down and have no idea what I will write about- I open up my mind like the fridge and try to get a handle on an idea, a starting ingredient.  Then I look for some other supporting statements, flavor enhancing components to come up with my main composition/entree.  This is the way I work best actually.  I like the challenge of reaching inside for elements that make sense when put together with complimentary items or ideas.  Its how I can discover and push the boundaries of my creativity.  Maybe every story, or every cooking creation doesn't always turn out perfect but each one is the practice towards making future ones even better.  Practice makes perfect- or at least produces refined products of our adoring attention to details.  When I am working on my writing or my cooking, I am working on my art.  The ability to have time to do these things is something I am most thankful for.  Thank you to those of you who I am able to share it with!