Friday, April 30, 2010

365 Photo Project - Day 119

Taken: April 29, 2010, 3 p.m.
Location: Healdsburg, Ca.

Know what I was thinking about when I took this photo? The secret of life.

I am not kidding. As presumptuous as it sounds, I'm pretty sure I've discovered the secret of life.  I'm not going to make you wait any longer, either. The secret of life is ... paying attention.

Stop rolling your eyes. I'm totally serious. Think about it for a minute. Think about how many times you kicked yourself for missing something. You can tell yourself you were distracted or the signs were too subtle or whatever excuse you have handy at the moment. But if you're really honest with yourself, you know you weren't paying attention.

It's like that famous test where a roomful of criminology students are interrupted by a guy who runs in and does something crazy and suddenly leaves. More than half the class won't be able to tell you what he was wearing, will miss obvious details and even some students will be sure they saw something that didn't happen. Society runs by fast as shit I know. It's like we're in a bullet train and life is that blur speeding by us outside the window. No wonder we miss so much.

I started this project because I wanted to see more. I wanted to pay closer attention to the stuff that's happening around me. Here's the biggest revelation: I'm spending a lot less time online now. Crazy right? An internet project has got me to go offline more. Go figure but it's totally true. And in some ways, it's totally great. I've been visiting fewer web pages, posting less on message boards, concentrating more of my time sitting at the computer at creating (and yeah, editing photos too).  And best thing of all, I'm reading more.

Trust me, you learn a lot by shutting up and watching. By sticking your nose out and breathing in, by touching and feeling, tasting and hearing. And the more you concentrate on being aware I find, the more you're prepared for surprises, both physical and emotional. You'll amaze yourself by how much doesn't surprise you. Everything is in the details.

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