odd time signatures

Attention Lessons

The difference between this:

and this?

Attention. Specifically, listening. Had I not been lost in the challenge of getting picture number one, I would have known that picture number two posed a serious danger to me, the camera, and my current state of dry.

But I wasn’t. So at the point where I should have been stepping back out of the way, I was walking forward, working to frame photo number one.

This has been my theme for the week. How to listen to the conversation, to the flow, to intuit a direction without mapping it myself, how to prevent being soaked and wrecked while hunting for the wide-angle shot, how to balance focus on my agenda with attention to what (or who) is around me.

I’ve had magic moments this week mixed in with utter disasters. In each case, the failure was to listen — really listen — to what the other person was saying. The successes involved setting aside my own tune to listen to others for a minute.

I am not known for my wisdom when it comes to where I place myself to get the perfect photo. I tend to jump out of comfort zones, wander metropolitan cities at midnight from time to time, and lose myself in the imagining of what an image might look like in its final form, often to the exclusion of that great big whatever lurking in front or behind me making noises that beg for me to get out of myself and into reality.

You think being doused with salt water might be a call to consider a bit more attention to present reality? Well, the camera survived without a drop, because I jumped back and hit the shutter button simultaneously, so as long as I can dodge I expect I will continue to wrestle with the attention question, particularly in an artistic context.

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