Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to See

      An artist must look, really look, and see the details in order to duplicate what she sees on to the paper or canvas.  

A writer paints a picture with words, constructing a visible image in the reader's mind.  

A musician creates mood, emotions and utilizes the sense of hearing.

All of these creative people use the abilities and tools they have to create an awareness of a particular scene: what the artist captures, the writer describes or the musician evokes.
     Every day, scenes happen around us.  Nature plays out many scenes, from the sky above to the earthworms in the garden dirt.  People around us act out (or "act up" in some cases), and display their characters and dramatize reactions to their circumstances.
     Our reactions to these scenes and characters says a lot about the color of our days.  Do we stop to notice and appreciate the changing skies or the crawling earthworms?  Do we take the time to appreciate and recognize the value of the unique characters in our lives?  I know I get too busy, too narrow minded, too introverted, too unaware and insensitive to all around me.  I appreciate those who remind me to wake up and pay attention to the beauty that is around me if I take the time to slow down and look, really look.
     I wrote yesterday that I would be mentioning two authors that challenge me to stop, take a moment, and notice the small, tiny touches of grandeur and beauty in my daily life.  One of those authors is Lee Silber, who wrote Time Management for the Creative Person: Right Brained Strategies for Stopping Procrastination, Getting Control of the Clock and Calendar, and Freeing Up Your Time and Your Life. 

     I am not an overly organized, compartmentalized person. I try, but I'd much rather wing it through my day. See what happens. Pile it, don't file it. His book has many ideas for creative organization: using colored pens, writing in various directions on a page, using a variety of forms, not trying to see the whole picture, but seeing just the small task at hand, colorful post-it notes to jog your memory, using a planner in a way that works for you, etc.  On page 22, he says, "This book is about time management and organizing your life.  Not so you can do more, but so you can be more."
     His book has helped me see many ways to creatively organize and manage my day.  On his website, www.leesilber.com, he has forms available to help with planning.  One of my favorites is titled "Magic Moments."  On his chart, hexagonal shapes connect, building a small beehive that fills the page.  Each shape contains a mini-chart.  To Do Today, with several lines underneath and a tiny Done check-box.  Scattered about the page are random, heavily outlined hexagons labeled, "Magic Moments, Making Time for Things That Matter Most," with lines inside the shape to describe in brief detail the moment worth remembering.  The idea is to pay attention to the details and not miss out on the many tiny joys of life.
     This afternoon, instead of grabbing another one of our daughter's banana chocolate chip muffins (which were great), or another cup of coffee, I sliced up an apple and peeled an orange for the munchies. I stopped to realize what a blessing it is to be able to choose the type of food I'm eating, to have many choices available, to appreciate the colors and the texture as I sliced them with the afternoon sunlight shining through the lace curtains.  It was art, and I'm glad I stopped to notice it.
                What scene of beauty can you stop and see today?

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