I wonder if I am paying more attention lately, looking at things more closely.
Have been hearing a lot about ‘mindfulness’ these days: being in the moment.
I expect we all receive greetings cards with pictures of flowers, and flowers in vases. One of the most common subjects for cards, perhaps. I have more than most, as I make new cards by recycling old ones, so people give me their unwanted birthday cards, and some have flowers on them, some with flowers in vases.
I think I have very rarely looked at the vase in these pictures. Here is a clear one, and you can see the stems. Stems and other features – bits of prickles or buds or leaves: of interest, that’s the thing. Holds your attention.
I could not help wondering how it would be if we all looked at everything more clearly, more closely. Because then you are in the moment. You can be worrying about yesterday or tomorrow, or even something just five minutes away.
They say in such moments you are in touch with your soul and whatever else may be there. God, your inner self, or just your intuition. If you are quiet, you can feel your preoccupations go, then sometimes a solution to one problem will become clear.
I knew a man who attended writing classes. He walked his dog each day, and it was whilst walking almost without thinking, just enjoying the park and surrounding scenery, that an idea would come to him for a story. Or an idea of where to go if he were stuck in the middle of a tale already begun.
I could talk of men who spend all day staring at the pond, or their fishing rod. Thoughts and consciousness vanish and the mind is suddenly empty. It is not just for solutions for worries in your life but for healing too. Or to create a space in which to just be. One young mother said to me that if she did not come downstairs first in her household and sit alone at the kitchen table for a few minutes with her cup of tea, then she would feel out of sorts for the rest of the day. Another woman with a family found her healing by just sitting and watching her aquarium.
Meditation, hypnosis, solutions and healing. Or just soothing after the day.
Brenda has a sensual game she plays with the decoration on her bed’s headboard. Mary runs her fingers over the knobbles on her wallpaper. Routines, rituals which get them off to sleep and bring the soothing which they both need.
But there can be more – as I look into my vase of flowers and its stems in water, I go deeper into the picture. See more. Hope to see more. Want to see more? You look at a rose, at its petals, then into its middle and create the kind of feeling that there will always be another middle of that middle to go to.
I have a necklace which makes me feel like that. It is a long chain with a row of small, pale orange beads leading the eye down to the pendant, a square of bright orange with a long teardrop droplet of bright orange. But we go deeper. Because between the square and the long oval, which are both solid, there is an open ring of gold. A squashed circle. But we go in more, because on the bottom of that circle is a small gold flower. And in the centre of that, a pale gold jewel. And can I see a dot or dots in the middle of that. Is ‘mesmerising’ the word? But it holds you, takes you, quietens the mind for the moment…
Is it a kind of yearning for eternity ? Or a proof of the eternal – that we see a circle within a circle and look for the dot in the middle of that, then wonder about the centre of that dot?
To be going deeper and deeper like this is like writing. You begin the story and find yourself drawn to its unfolding. There is always more. You read an old story and find what you thought a flat character, now seems to have sudden amazing depth. I wonder what more I will find next time I look at her.
See what you can find in my stories and characters.
My next book, a collection of short stories, will be out soon.
Watch this space!