Sunday, July 13, 2008
As a writer, you're often put into the role of observer.
You're sitting back finely picking a label for every moment. You remember a quirk in someones voice, the placement of wrinkles on faces and a fleeting look of disappointment or adoration. Your food isn't just a taste but a variation of distinct smells and spices, you name the texture and mentally note the description on the menu. One color turns into thirty different shades of red, so when you tell your story you're able to describe that the cherry was actually a deep Burgundy rather than a crimson. Being that it was burgundy the reader knows that this particular cherry was especially plump, a good batch of juiciness, less tart than others.
Remembering the details are essential keys to telling the story, for giving someone a vision and transporting them there.
As an observer, it's easy to find that you've stepped outside of the moment and now you're are telling the story as someone who has only really halfway, lived it.
It's just as a person with a camera, ready to capture each laugh, or each moment of romance. When romance is actually something very personal and captivating, so much in fact that that intimacy is rarely caught (genuinely) in a photograph. In order to do that, you must be observing the moment.
I've stepped away from my computer for the last few days, without the expectation that I would have to "produce" something later for people to read. Instead I went about my life without expecting for a story to come about worthy of telling.
Friday night, my cousin, father and my uncle decided to go out for dinner in a random location, at a restaurant we've never been to. As we were walking down the street we were beckoned into a small, brightly lit art gallery with incredible paintings of musicians and athletes. Bright colors and bright personalities. Being that you aren't invited into gallery openings with cheese and red wine all that often, we kindly obliged. Only moments after stepping in we ended up having a conversation with the artist who, it turns out, is very much a kindred spirit. We spoke of energy and creation, freedom, travel, artistry, dreaming and achieving etc....we shared the same philosophy on life, indeed. Within half and hour we had not only been surrounded by a world renowned artist but had made a new friend, shared stores and I was then offered to sing at the restaurant next door before I left for Europe at their Thursday night jam sessions. Jazz, blues, and soul, in a room of people emitting good energy and many of whom are living their dreams.
The whole point was, when you (meaning me at this/that moment) start saying "yes" to the moments that you "stumble upon" or to the doors that are open, sometimes literally, the stories happen organically.
The rest of the weekend I stepped away from the computer and continued living without expectation of magical moments or with expectation of relaying back hysterical one liners. I hiked five miles, enjoyed a picnic on top of a mountain and later spent hours chatting up an old rock cover band at a saloon and throwing out requests for Fleetwood Mac. I don't have pictures of any of it.....but as a person with an impeccable memory, I also managed to live in it and store enough to retell the basics.
I'm headed back to NYC tonight for four days. Four days of packing up my things, leaving my barely-there apartment and my favorite restaurants. To enjoy truffled egg toast, long lunches and sugary cupcakes, followed by long aimless walks and midday mimosas. To share drinks with new friends and old friends and say goodbye, at least until Dec when I'm back from my "little" journey.
I've decided to leave my computer in Colorado, to give full attention to my last days in New York City. Undivided, complete attentiveness to the moments I'm in. Until then......
What doors are open for you to say "YES" to??? Have you said yes???