Monday, August 16, 2010

Writing on Seeing

Well, it's been a while since I last wrote, and being unmotivated to come up with anything new, I'll just dredge up this old blog entry I wrote for my Words and Images class. Not that I remember what "chapter" I was talking about.

September 19, 2007

I really loved this chapter (1) in Seeing & Writing! It just reminded me - and I love being reminded of this - how everything in the world can be fascinating if you only take the time to pay attention to it. It's so gratifying to find yourself really appreciating such small, commonplace, oft-overlooked things--a band-aid (ahem, adhesive bandage) plastered to the road, blackened in the places where it's been ground into the asphalt by hundreds of passing oddly shaped droplet of water on your desk...a tube of toothpaste shaped like a whale...

I'm including pictures, but probably they'll mean nothing to anybody but me (by now, they mean much less than they did, even to me. I think a good deal of the magic that comes from observing the ordinary simply exists in the first moment you see it), but here they are--two items that, for a moment at least, sent my mind soaring towards some sort of revelation (it still hasn't gotten all the way there).
What a cool water droplet!a toothpaste whale!

I could probably devote a lifetime to exploring the wonders of the commonplace, but I do have two other projects to be working on, so I'll end by sharing just one excerpt from the chapter, which was this quote from the essay, "Seeing": "Thoreau, in an expansive mood, exulted, 'What a rich book might be made about buds, including, perhaps, sprouts!'" I love how he tacks on the part about sprouts, as if it were an afterthought, and then adds an exclamation point, as if it were the most thrilling afterthought that ever occurred to him. Not many people could wax so ecstatic about a vegetable, but the mind attuned to buds and other growing things could no doubt devote a lifetime to exploring the wonders of sprouts!

Of course, maybe I'm just in an expansive mood myself, but I'm pretty thrilled to be living in a world where every little thing can be the cause of endless fascination.


Tariq said...

Have you read any Emmanuel Kant? This post reminds me a lot of his writings about beauty.