a summer practice

my life seems to be cycling with the seasons and i am ready for summer: bright, overexposed, extroverted summer.  about a week ago i made a commitment to myself that i would start documenting those juicy, vibrant, delicious moments that are so abundant in summer so i can savor them later.  so i bought a journal just for these moments, because my best chance at recreating the texture of each sensual experience is with my words.  and i love it.  i write in it every day and in the past six days have captured 12 different memories from the smallest moment to longer experiences.

and it’s proven to be a practice that feeds itself.  as soon as i started capturing these moments, i now hold it in my consciousness to pay attention to everything around me more carefully.  to follow all of the sensual experiences in the smallest of moments.  to pay attention to the juxtaposition of colors around me, the things i’m hearing, the touch of the sun on my skin, the touch of a lovers lips, the hidden planes under shirts, the feel of the darkness, the smell of the heat.  everything is more magical when you are really paying attention.

for example, on saturday i went to see snow white and the huntsman.  i was disappointed overall with the old messages about beauty being the seat of a womans power and the lack of more complex female characters outside of the queen and snow white.  but as i was sitting there waiting, i tuned in.  we had made it through the trailers, through the ads and then came that short pause between adverts and the movie you came to see.  the theater goes darker than it will be at any other point and there is a short breath, pregnant with everyone’s enthusiasm.  the air is heavy with muted noises: the sound of people talking fast and quiet words, the sound of people eating popcorn, the scratch of plastic on plastic as straws slip through lids.  it has the same ambient nature as crickets.  and then the screen lights up, the movie starts and all of those noises are still there but everything has changed.  the moment is fleeting, but rich.  i encourage you to pay attention the next time it happens to you.  pay attention to how giddy it makes you feel.

or after the movie.  i was slipping into the beginnings of a pouty moment.  we had ridden into town in the back of the truck share.  everyone had piled out of the car, kassia was the last person still out there with me and asked if i wanted to talk or if i just wanted a minute.  i just wanted a minute.  i sat perched delicately on the corner of the truck, absorbing sunlight through my black, sparkling cardigan.  paying attention to the blue and white stripes crawling across my dress and the layer of ripped gray tights revealing the shape of my thighs.  i hid behind the curling locks i still have on one side of my head, my face turned down to the privacy of the pavement.  alternating my gaze between the gold sparkles in my rich brown hair and the mesh of sun and shadow speckled pavement.  just taking in a moment by myself and enjoying the intimacy of the sunshine.

i highly recommend this practice.  it’s been an absolutely magical experience.  and it really does make me experience every moment more vividly.  every sense is alive and aware of what is happening around me.  its actually quite intoxicating!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. angietupelo
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 16:46:23

    Gosh, I thought I was the only one who did this! I love to sit in the sun and look at my hair. I usually think of my hair as brown and boring, but the sun illuminates it and I see the hundreds of shades of copper and blonde and rich browns and feel awesome. It’s not so much that I think it’s prettier (gosh, beauty is complicated), it’s that I’m completely in touch with how unique and powerful and interesting my body is in those moments.


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