Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. -- Gene Fowler

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

12 January 2011: Small Stones Update

I confess I've not been really very attentive lately. Last week saw a crisis of sorts in my life (don't worry; everyone's fine) and so I lost sight of the small in favour of the big. Throughout it I tried to grasp at small stones, but rarely found them before things whisked me away again.

With my life settling down again I'm reviewing the ones I have found and, naturally, finding them wanting. Should they be poetry? Should they be narrative? Can they be artwork? What if I write them down and they're just really bad?

I think now more than ever I need to notice and collect small stones, even if I don't write them down. The world is full of wonder and endless detail, and in our busy lives we zip past and leave them unnoticed much of the time. How much more enjoyment we might get from life if we, as they say, stopped to smell the roses from time to time.

Snowmageddon '10
It's winter in my part of the world, and roses are months from showing their faces. But the world is not dead. I see its life in the wisps of snow blowing off the neighbour's roof, in the little three-toed 'Y' shapes of mourning dove footprints in the snow on my walk. The wind blows the sparrows' feathers, deforming them for a moment, but they quickly return to their original configuration. The yew bushes outside my front window tremble with the movement of the small birds who hide within, waiting for a safe moment to fly out and eat the seeds placed on my windowsill.

I wanted to capture those little birdy footprints with my camera, but somehow the opportunity never came. By the time I realised I'd missed it, the snow, and the footprints, were melted away. I may get another opportunity though. It's only January, after all. There are at least a couple months of snow-favourable weather ahead.

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