GOOD ADVICE ... on paying attention
Two playful exercises in looking
Since Niko and I got a campervan about a year ago, we have taken various camping trips on the weekends. From our home base in San Francisco, we drove up and down the pacific coast and also headed east to explore the mountain range of the Sierra Nevada.
I love these trips, but one thing bugs me: Once I am back home, I can hardly remember the campground we just stayed on. I can remember our hikes, the people we met, and the food we cooked just fine. But I am hard-pressed to tell how large the camping ground was, whether the sites were arranged in circles or strips, or what kind of trees there were.
Niko tries to console me by saying that campgrounds basically all look the same - which is very sweet but not that convincing because he can tell you in detail what each and every one makes unique!
Why can I remember so little? Probably because I am not so interested in campgrounds. Still, the thought that I move through the world without paying enough attention to be able to describe a place where I just spent a night or two is annoying. Don’t let your thoughts wander so much, I am telling myself like a mother scolding her scatterbrained daughter. PAY MORE ATTENTION!
In his wonderful book The Art of Noticing, journalist and columnist Rob Walker presents a series of exercises and meditations that teach you to see the world anew. In chapters titled Looking, Sensing, Going Places, Connecting with Others, and Being Alone, he explores various aspects of paying attention and noticing things around and in you.
What I love about this book is how playful and approachable the tasks are. So in this post, I will introduce you to two exercises I especially like.
The first one is called COLOR WALK.
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