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LJ Idol Exhibit B: Week 2 - Look! Look!

This is my entry this week in the mini-season of therealljidol, Exhibit B. Please read and vote forthe many fine entries. This week we chose from among several topics. I went with "Na wa ooooo," which is a Nigerian Phrase that means "This is serious," or "This is interesting/hilarious/unbelievable."

He points out everything as we pass it: a car on the road! A little girl! A doggie that's "so cute"! The constant patter undercuts my thoughts, so I put the voice recorder away and surrender. We make note of all we see and hear: a robin, a plane, a faraway train. A school bus, made of yellow rectangles. It is parked in the grocery store parking lot on this Memorial Day.

Around us, people sit on plastic chairs while meat singes on charcoal grills. The day is mild, the sky clear blue (though green clouds of pollen swirl through open windows, making allergy sufferers like my homebound husband miserable).

As a child, I had a diary which said on the first page, "Make the most of every day, and most every day will seem special." From the time I began to keep a journal, I became an outside observer of my life: making mental notes of especially meaningful dialogue or moments; the character of the sky; the way things felt.

So much falls by memory's wayside: a monotony of asphalt and broken sidewalk. Always, the eye rises to the green, the growing. Always, the ear tunes in the bird song and tunes out the traffic hush. But to my son, the cars sing. He celebrates the turning of wheels; relentlessly directs me to look. "A car on the road! Look, it has wheels!"

We mail a letter and then spend a quarter hour wandering through Sycamore Park, named for the 400-year-old tree that figures on the town's insignia. For lack of a ball to kick, we make our own fun: padding slowly through the park, seeing what we can see, hearing what we can hear, smelling what we can smell. And thus, we see bees courting clover, hear church bells chiming time, and smell meat blackening.

We identify the oak and willow, the gingko and maple. We spend long, ponderous moments contemplating the ancient sycamore, whose longest, weightiest branch is now supported by metal and wood. We make note of the fragments of burst balloons, testament to a past party.

As we make our way home, he falls asleep in the stroller, but I keep looking. I keep noticing. The woman in the mint-green shirt with the pink-flowered skirt. The old men laughing gruffly while playing horseshoes. The teen catching a football in the street, then celebrating by bopping his nearby friend on the head with the ball. The temperate air caressing my skin, the whoosh of leaves overhead. The flag strung across a front stoop, telling its own quiet tale. All of it rendered important, indelible, just through the act of my noticing.

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( 54 comments — Leave a comment )
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May. 27th, 2013 11:34 pm (UTC)
I love your descriptions of things, and how you see the world through the eyes of KFP as well as your own.
May. 27th, 2013 11:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you! BTW, the letter we mailed was to you. Let me know when you get it!
May. 27th, 2013 11:39 pm (UTC)
It's amazing what you'll see when you actually open your eyes and notice the world around you. :P

We really do need to notice the world more.

Edited at 2013-05-27 11:39 pm (UTC)
May. 27th, 2013 11:50 pm (UTC)
It truly is! Toddlers have a way of forcing you to notice things.
(no subject) - cheshire23 - May. 29th, 2013 01:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 28th, 2013 02:30 am (UTC)
What a wonderful time with your KFP!
May. 28th, 2013 02:39 am (UTC)
He makes any experience an adventure.
May. 28th, 2013 03:05 am (UTC)
Awwww! This was beautiful and sweet and good! :)
May. 28th, 2013 03:44 am (UTC)
Thank you! It makes me really happy to hear you say that.
(no subject) - medleymisty - May. 28th, 2013 03:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alycewilson - May. 28th, 2013 03:53 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 28th, 2013 03:05 am (UTC)
The images and descriptions in this piece were very strong. Also, I don't know if it's true for you or not, but I've noticed that spending time with a toddler on a regular basis has greatly increased the details I notice in the world and what my brain does with them. :)
May. 28th, 2013 03:44 am (UTC)
Exactly! I'm always watching him for his reaction, and I'm highly conscious of all those little "firsts" that he experiences on a daily basis, without even realizing it. Do you do the same?
May. 28th, 2013 08:12 am (UTC)
beautiful! this what I try to do every day too.

I have no toddler, but I do keep a gratitude diary, where I write down five things that have made me smile/happy/grateful. And it does change the way you look at the world!
May. 28th, 2013 04:45 pm (UTC)
That's a great idea!
May. 28th, 2013 12:25 pm (UTC)
Toddlers live in the RightNow! -- which is not something I can do, so I honestly appreciate the company of tots, as they force me to join them in the current RightNowThisSecond.
May. 28th, 2013 04:44 pm (UTC)
Toddlers are very Zen. :)
May. 28th, 2013 04:12 pm (UTC)
I was really struck by the shift in the types of things noticed--the natural world for the child, the more complex "people and symbols" world for the adult. Lovely description throughout!
May. 28th, 2013 04:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you picked up on that. I was trying to combine our views of the world around us, so that they began more and more to interweave.
May. 28th, 2013 06:03 pm (UTC)
This was a gorgeous entry, and a great use of a difficult prompt!

Always, the ear tunes in the bird song and tunes out the traffic hush. But to my son, the cars sing.
This really is one of the joys of having children, I think. You are brought out of your own "rut" by the way they experience everything as if it were new, and there is a lot of joy or happiness in things we've written off as visual or auditory "noise."

Happy belated birthday, BTW! I hope you had a chance to celebrate yesterday. :)
May. 28th, 2013 06:40 pm (UTC)
KFP definitely has a way of making me pay attention to the here and now, and to view things with fresh eyes.

Actually, my birthday isn't until September, but KFP's 3rd birthday is in a couple weeks. We'll be celebrating by going to a special Thomas the Train Event with his grandfather. Should be fun! Thanks for the good wishes.
(no subject) - halfshellvenus - May. 28th, 2013 06:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alycewilson - May. 29th, 2013 04:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 28th, 2013 08:06 pm (UTC)
Every now and then in my travels I meet a person who kind of scowls at me for taking so many photos, and remarks that they believe in savoring and enjoying every moment instead of being preoccupied trying to capture it on film. It's an interesting philosophy, but to each their own I guess, because when I see a beautiful scene I immediately am dying to share it with others. (:
May. 29th, 2013 06:24 am (UTC)
I love to take a lot of photos, too, so I completely understand that instinct. But sometimes, as my son reminds me, it's good to simply pause and appreciate the world around you.
(no subject) - emo_snal - May. 29th, 2013 06:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alycewilson - May. 29th, 2013 04:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - emo_snal - May. 29th, 2013 05:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 28th, 2013 08:37 pm (UTC)
What a fantastic use of this prompt. Loved your entry and the moment you describe!
May. 29th, 2013 06:24 am (UTC)
Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
May. 28th, 2013 09:09 pm (UTC)
Great entry giving us your observations and KFP's as well. Life can be so beautiful when we just take time to look. I guess it's the old 'stop and smell the roses' theory, which I did today, while browsing at the Garden Center! :)
May. 29th, 2013 06:25 am (UTC)
Sounds like a nice afternoon!
May. 29th, 2013 02:37 am (UTC)
the imagery in this was wonderful, great entry!
May. 29th, 2013 06:25 am (UTC)
Thanks so much!
May. 29th, 2013 03:32 am (UTC)
May. 29th, 2013 06:25 am (UTC)
Thank you!
May. 29th, 2013 04:07 am (UTC)
This is beautiful. :)
May. 29th, 2013 06:25 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you think so.
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