Thursday, December 29, 2005

Paying Attention

I take a lot of stuff for granted.  Sitting at my desk this morning at 5 a.m. trying to think of something to write about, my attention drifted to the antique lamp on my desk.  It’s been sitting there forever but I’ve never really looked at it….not really looked at it.  It’s a white ceramic lamp with a brass base and what appears to be hand painted pink, soft blue and yellow flowers.  The base needs polishing and the shade could use a good dusting, but the lamp is really quite beautiful.  There is also a hand carved wooden box with what appears to be a small crystal ball as a handle.  How long did it take someone to carve this little box?  When I opened it up, there were a few coins, a guitar pick, old artist passes to City Stages and a small photograph of a kid that I don’t recognize.  How long have I been sleeping?  Where did all this stuff come from?
I’m reading some books on how to become a better writer and one of the assignments is to observer what’s around you. In doing this exercise, it feels almost as if I have been living in a fog. It occurred to me that I’ve got to do a better job if I ever hope to be a decent writer.
I just read Crusader’s Cross by James Lee Burke and his descriptions of the scenes and the people are incredible.  He describes the way things look, the smell, the sounds and tastes.  Whenever Burke describes a scene, you feel as if you are there. James Lee would know where my lamp came from and he would know what kind of wood my box was carved from, who carved it and what kind of knife he used.  He would also know the name of the printer that printed the City Stages passes.  
So here goes the awakened writer; a circle of incandescent light cast by the hand-painted antique ceramic and brass lamp cast a soft glow over the sparsely furnished oak desk.  In the circle of light was a small cedar box hand carved forty years ago by an introspective Tibetan Monk with a bone handled carving knife that was as sharp as a barber’s razor. The box was filled with souvenirs from a life unnoticed.
OK, maybe that was a little overboard, but I’m going to pay closer attention to things, that’s for sure.
More on this later.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please consider sharing

Email Signup Form

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required