Thought for the week from Magis: Last week we spoke about noticing. Here are some more thoughts and some activities for you to try out :
One of the truly emblematic pieces of American Theatre is Thornton
Wilder’s “Our Town.” While studying it as a youngster I probably
learned more about theatre and literature from the way this play was
taught to me than any other single work I had experienced up until that
point in my life. I remember getting to the Third Act when Emily
wants to go back to re-live her twelfth birthday. I was puzzled at the
reactions of the other characters who told her not to do it because it
would be too painful. As she noticed the things that she overlooked
while she was alive it became unbearable for her. She asked the stage
manager “do any human beings realize life while they live it? Every
every minute?” His response to her was “No. The saints and poets, they
do some.” This interchange made a huge impact on me. How much there is
to notice in life… and how like the saints and poets we are when we are
able to notice it in the moment.
Suggestions for developing a noticing practice:
-Spend 10 minutes in one spot: on a bus or train, on a park bench, at a
window and just watch what is going on. What do you see? People?
Birds? Movement? Colors? Notice what attracts your eye from moment to
moment and name it.
- The next time you eat spend some time noticing
the complexity of temperature, texture, aroma, and flavor. Notice how
each chew will change the equation slightly and feature one or more of
the components slightly differently. Each new bite will be different
proportions. Take your time and enjoy the intricacy of the tastes.