Seen and Unseen Details

I’m practicing seeing. Not the seeing inside my head which is all the time, but seeing outside of me, and particularly, seeing details. Allan Smorra, a new blogging friend (check out his site, he has some very cool shots) , wrote, “I have found the lesson to lie in the details.”

A storm skirts Kansas City. The tall oak outside my window whips. I see strong trunk surrounded by swirling branches, dry leaves, sunlight gleaming. Allan said look at details. I drill my eyes to two green leaves, shining as if they believe spring’s on its way, cupped in a palm of golden leaves. That kind of focus does not come naturally to me. I can say it’s because I grew up on the prairie; or I could say I call myself See-Far Woman.

On the other hand, I see like that when I’m writing poetry. I look at details. Hmmmmm.

…the only real study I’d been consistent with seemed to be pinning myself on a wall like a moth and examining the carcass. … a partial sentence from the memoir but it’s true. Maybe you could say I see the unseen world best.

My son, the eldest, is much like Allan although probably some younger. Not a lot, but he’s, the son, not much younger than I am either. I married young.

Stephen is a big man. He has big hands. And when the bookcase shuddered and knocked off the ceramic shoe given to my mother in a San Francisco hospital when I was born, I gave the fragments to Stephen. He put it back together.

He, like Allan, offers concise sentences. On an evening when he and I were cleaning up after dinner, I scraped my arm while putting away a pan. I, who am given to bruises, and the older I am the more bruises threaten. “Dang!” I said.

Stephen, washing dishes, looked at me. He more like stared at me. “Mom…you’re not careless…..” He went back to washing dishes. I waited. He washed two plates. He turned to me. “You don’t think about consequences.” (Yes, Allan, I know you’ll like that line.)

Well. I whooped. “I never think about consequences!” I said. “I do something. If it works fine. If it doesn’t work, I do something else.”

And therein lies the practice. I became aware of consequences. I’ve not bruised my arms as often and the bruises smaller. Now I’ll practice seeing details.


6 thoughts on “Seen and Unseen Details

  1. I like the way your son sees you and the way you say so clearly what it means to you. I love your “pinning yourself on the wall like a moth and examining the carcass. 🙂

  2. I enjoyed reading your thoughts about details, Janet. In photography I tend to look at the details, as well as in life. So I’ve had to work to be less detail-oriented.

    As for your storm, we got it last night and are still getting it this morning.


    1. It sorta side-swiped us. Some rain but not much. I’m back to watering the house… yeah, the house. It’s old. It likes to be lopsided when the ground is dry. One cracked wall repair taught me the value of watering the foundation. LOL.

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