The other day a co-worker shared a story he heard from a comedian;
“I was at Wal-Mart the other day and when I was ready to check out. I found four registers open with long lines at each. I stood in line and inched my way forward with the other customers. Standing in line, with nothing better to do, I read the signs posted by the cash register. One sign was too small for me to read from my distance. Each time I moved up, one place in line I again tried to read the sign. The next customer moved and I was finally able to read the sign, “If Over Three Customers Are In Line, We Will Open Another Register.” I began counting customers in front of me and I was the third customer in line. “
After hearing the story I began to think about how comedians get their material. Thousands of people saw the same sign and didn’t see the humor in that sign. Comedians have a way of seeing humor in everyday life that escapes the rest of us. It’s the same for writers. They can look at everyday situations and see them in a different light than their readers. Hemingway could look at a forest and see a story that others did not see. Musicians can hear music in the wind and sounds of everyday life. Artist can see details in the world that we do not and then share them in their paintings.
Bloggers are much the same. They see interesting stories in everyday situations that they share with their readers. Everyday events that we all experience are seen with different eyes.
So what sets these people apart from the rest of us?
They see things. Most people run through life without fully taking in what’s around them. We glimpse at sites, sounds, tastes and feelings, taking in a small part of them and allow our brains to fill in the blanks. We process things quickly and efficiently. The problem is we miss the subtlety and details. Our brains fill in the blanks and we miss so much. Many experiments have been done to prove this. A typical scenario is three people will experience the same event. When interviewed, after the event they all have different recollections. They saw and heard the exact same thing at the same time but have slightly different recollections.
The writers and artist of the world are able to slow down and see the full details around them. They do not allow their brains to fill in “unimportant” details. They are able to stand outside of themselves and see things the rest of us can not and then share them through their work.
We can all do this if we focus. Nest time you are outside look at the trees and take in the texture of the bark. Watch the limbs sway in the breeze. Look at the shafts of light piercing the leaves. Focus on the tiny particles glistening in the light as they float in the air. There is so much we usually miss all around us. Take the time to step out of yourself and really experience what is happening around you. We can all do it if we stop and take the time.
If you will excuse me I am going outside with a cup of coffee and step outside of my self to see what is really gong on.