Sunday, November 09, 2014

Retraining myself to live in the moment

Reading this songwriting book has made me aware of how much I miss on a daily basis.  Whether it ever helps me get back to writing, it is certainly waking me up to the fact that I haven't been paying attention to real life.  I blog about things, I share things on Facebook, I take pictures, but all the while I have been failing to live in the present and notice what's going on around me.  I would do better to just stand and gaze at beauty rather than be looking through a camera lens at everything.  I've read articles about this very thing, but today it really hit home as I read over the list of things I am supposed to be aware of when I do my daily writing exercise:  Sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, body, motion.

Usually I go out, let the cow in with the calves, then come to the house and grab the Ipad to check Facebook or play Sudoku for twenty minutes or so.  Then I go out, separate the cow from the calves, and come back inside.  

This morning, after putting mom with the babies, I lingered outside, reminding myself to look around and be aware, be alive.  What did I see?  A moon in the east, growing smaller now, but still lighting up the night sky well enough that no flashlight was needed.  To the west, a faint rosy-red glow where the sun would soon be coming up.  As the glow got brighter, I appreciated the skeletons of trees making designs in front of it.  "I should go get my camera," I thought, and then resisted the impulse, because I knew that would take away my "living in the moment".

Then I concentrated on  the sounds around me.  At first I only heard the breeze rushing past my ears, but when I walked around the house and got out of the wind, I could hear my feet swishing through the grass as I walked. Standing still, I heard the apple tree leaves rustling, and in the far distance, the sound of traffic on 24 highway.  

That's about as far as I got, experimenting with my senses, but it was an amazing experience.  For several minutes, I was actually living life, not just existing or trying to find something to say or show on the Internet.  I did finally get the camera, by the way, just because I was ready to come inside anyhow.  

The thing is, though, that no picture can match reality.  I need to take a lot more time looking at the real thing rather than taking pictures I will look at one time and never again.

With bellies full of milk, Moose watches Mama Kitty in the distance and Whitey practices his new-found skill, grazing.  

Gypsy hangs out near her mom as long as possible, even when there is a fence between them.


ingasmile said...

It is really hard to live in the moment. We are always thinking about what is next. I do love to unplug sometimes and not worry about taking pics of events and just enjoy the moment. I do that with my kids events with school and extra curricular, I don't bother to photograph them much or video them because then I am not enjoying the moment as much as I could be.

Margaret said...

I think it's a mix of living the experience but also trying to capture it. I always feel those feelings when I look at a photo I've taken; it brings back memories of that place or time.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

That is a very inspirational book for sure. Loved your present moments this morning. Right now is what is important. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow hasn't come.


Living in the moment is something I need to do more of too. You are giving me inspiration to get back into life.