Details details

I love the change in the seasons. I’ve never been much of a fan of summer, so while others are mourning the summer’s demise I am looking forward to the fall. I love autumn and always have although it’s not nearly as marvelous here in Seattle as it was when I lived in New York–we got crisper air and therefore nicer leaves. It was more of a transition, although here it will cool down a bit and the rains will start coming back. This is still a win.

As a writer and a Zen girl, I try to be observant. One of the ways I hone my abilities to notice and stay in the present is through various forms of art. I love to draw. If you get very quiet and just observe a thing and draw what you see you’ll notice things you might never have noticed before. In order to draw something well you need to really look at it. The skill in your fingers will come with practice, but it all starts with the eye. Once you start drawing on a regular basis you’ll start studying things with a casual glance. Beware, as you may start to get distracted by the lovely curvature of your next teacup or the patterns on the light sconce in the hallway. You are starting to see, and it is good.

I also write haiku. In order to write about a brief moment you must first see that moment in all its detail. The more detail you have, the more choices you have as a writer when crafting your haiku. Writing is also a way to take a tour of your own brain. Writing exercises require you to use details you have stored up in your memory. I particularly like writing exercises that use random words because they allow me to create something that I might not have imagined otherwise. I wander around noticing things, and it is this reality that infuses the poem or story even if that poem or story is about outer space. All writing is grounded in some sort of truth, no matter how fantastical it might be. If it isn’t, it generally fails because people do not believe it. You may not believe in hobbits, but everyone knows someone who would rather sit and eat cakes than go on an adventure. We know someone like Bilbo Baggins, and therefore we accept a lot that doesn’t make sense within our own experience.

As the season changes I’m going to be noticing how those changes manifest in Seattle. I want to fully experience whatever the fall has in store for me, and I can’t wait for the rain to start.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
257. How does the change in seasons manifest where you are? Are you noticing as much as you could? Try drawing something or writing about it and see if you notice more than you normally would.

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4 thoughts on “Details details

  1. It was nice stumbling upon your blog. I am hoping to move that way in the coming year and am looking forward to actually experiencing changes in the seasons again. As for now, I’m stuck in a city that only knows two seasons, hot summer and nice mild winters. It’s really hard to notice much in Las Vegas, the days do get a little cooler, and the sun isn’t out as late; but the trees never really change or the wind doesn’t ever have that cool autumn feel. I remember one day last year in October I was outside and the mercury had to be busting 95, then the following week it was 70 and we never saw another day that hot for the rest of the fall/winter – so one day it was summer and the next it was fall – kind of depressing. What type of weather can I hope to see and experience there? Does Seattle get all 4 seasons? Which is your favorite?

    • Thanks Christopher. If you want to see more you can follow either through WordPress or email or also via Twitter or my public Cathy Tenzo public Facebook page. As far as the seasons in Seattle–Fall and Winter are the rainy seasons. Winter is colder than fall but it rarely goes below freezing and it rarely snows (and when it snows even a little, people panic–on the other hand, we have lots of hills and very few snow plows, so that may be more sensible than it seems). Spring warms up a little, and is a little less rainy. Summer is just plain hot with not much rain. It’s green all year round although there are more flowers in Spring and Summer than at other times. The seasons are less distinct than on the East Coast, but still noticeable. Not nearly as hot as where you are, and lots of beauty and culture here. Feel free to send me more comments with questions as you get ready to move and I’ll help with info if I know the answer 🙂

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