It’s not you, it’s me.

May 16 (1 of 1).jpg

The Mr. and I have a long-running joke about my obliviousness. Apparently, at least in certain situations, I’m known for my lack of observational skill.

He teases that I’d fail to notice even obvious occurrences taking place around me, such as, for example, an exploding building or an approaching mob of evil clowns.

I agree that I may be slightly challenged in this regard. Sometimes I accidentally ignore people I know when I unexpectedly encounter them in public places. More than once I’ve had to apologize after the fact to friends and neighbours who have waved to me from afar, only to have me return their greeting with nothing but a vacant, unintentionally grouchy expression.

In my defence: I (usually) have no ill will against these people I’m supposed to recognize. I’m simply lost in my own little world. Evidently, when I’m busy doing something, such as walking or thinking – especially walking and thinking – my brain is only capable of a limited amount of sensory input. Friends and acquaintances, I assure you: my failure to notice you is nothing personal. I apologize for being rude.

(Strangely, though, I’m very observant when it comes to, say, the whereabouts of my library books, which household bills are due when, and whether the bird-feeder needs refilling. Make of that what you will.)

Through my dabbling in photography, I’m learning that the skill of observation can be improved. (Thankfully, because those evil clowns are super creepy and I’d like to notice them in enough time to get far, far away.)

Do you ever notice something for the first time and then begin see it everywhere?

Lines, for example. I’ve never, ever noticed lines as much as I do now, because I want to record them with the camera. Lines in the roads, lines in the trees, lines in the clouds. The grid of windows on a building, the curl of my daughter’s hair, the sweeping curves of hosta leaves emerging from the earth. (A-ha! The accompanying photo to this post! You knew I’d get there. Eventually.)

Being observant is being present. And I’m sure I’m not alone in the challenge of being present – really and truly aware – more often. If photography is helping me slow down and sharpen some of my senses – at least the art of seeing, of noticing – perhaps there’s hope for me.

If I smile and wave back next time you see me at the mall, you’ll know it’s working.


(I’m pleased to contribute this ribbed hosta to Tuesdays of Texture, a weekly feature over at De Monte y Mar.)

Dear Santa: Long-johns, please.


I detest the cold.

I’m cold all the time. I’m the one in four layers of clothing when everyone else is comfortable in a hoodie. I’ll go swimming only if it’s hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk. I sleep wearing socks and slippers, with my pajama pants tucked into my socks so they don’t ride up (this baffles and frustrates my hot-blooded husband, not only because I’m sure he would prefer a sleeping partner in a more advanced state of undress but also because he’d rather not be sweating beneath a comforter and a duvet in the middle of summer).

Though I like autumn, I start groaning when temperatures fall below 12°C. Dread sets in when it goes below zero, and the phrase “windchill factor” makes me want to curl up with my hot water bottle and hibernate in my well-padded bed for the rest of the season.

The late fall, at least, is beginning to look different to me now that I’m learning to see through a lens. I’ll actually venture outside. On purpose. And if I’m holding my camera, busy looking, I pay less attention to the blood freezing solid in my veins.

This morning we woke to the ground sparkling with frost. The leaves in the photo above were illuminated by a shaft of early morning sunlight glinting through a gap between the backyard fence boards. I tried to catch the rim of frost before it melted away moments later.

December’s almost upon us. Winter will provide some unique photo opportunities. Perhaps with some additional layers, a balaclava, and maybe some hot potatoes in my pockets, I’ll be ready.