Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Noticing with all your senses

(If you're new - you can still join! click here)

I've been enjoying lots of your stones and I've noticed that the first thing I do is picture them in my minds eye. For me the sight is the most predominate sense. I have to make an effort of will to imagine the sound of birds, or rain or cars drifting by.

When I write I also think I have a tendency to hone in on the visual aspect first. Noticing this I want to encourage all of us to notice with all of our senses, and to try and capture something we might not usually capture in our stones.

You could try listening for your small stone today, or feeling its texture with your fingers, or noticing its smell drifting before you.

In 'Had I not been awake' Seamus Heany's first poem in Human Chain he writes about...

...A wind that rose and whirled until the roof
Pattered with quick leaves off the sycamore

and I can hear it.


  1. Mmm, lovely post, fiancé :)
    I'd like to put my two-pence worth in (which of course is very unusual for me....!) and encourage people to try different forms - if you're always writing haikus, write a sentence, and if you're new to writing, try some line breaks. Experiment, and enjoy.
    (I'm enjoying reading them VERY much too... in fact I have to be careful not to spend too long 'in the river' or I wouldn't be getting anything else done!)

  2. You mean just like I encouraged people 5 days ago ; )


    Fiona's right though, have a play with the words and see what happens!

    See this post a couple of days ago as well, for Fiona's tips on catching and polishing small stones.

  3. ; )

    I've just finished adding everyone new to the River so you should have heard from me by now. Do email as well if you'd like occasional updates. And it's NOT TOO LATE to join... you can do 31 days in a stretch from now, or finish at the end of Jan - 3 small stones would be better than none. And you'll still be eligible to submit to our River of Stones book. Have good Wednesdays x

  4. And as I wrote in my Monday blog [also mentioning river of stones :)]
    ...I have found a synchronicity across writers' blogs. At any given moment that I am writing about a topic, I find two or three others writing about the same topic.

  5. synchronicity...yes Margoby! That's the beauty of paying attention...we begin to notice this expansive connection...I'm loving this whole process...thank you so much Fiona!

  6. I agree about the synchronicity - I was just thinking about this yesterday, how i tend to notice things visually first. So I challenged myself to listen and the result was a small stone about the sound of a match striking (something I've never really noticed before). -K

  7. mmm synchronicty Jung believed it was the deep reality of the universe trying to tell us something....

    Thanks for the comments everyone, keep writing :)

  8. Synchronicity is so amazing. In our writing group we so often create pieces in sync with each other - it is like we are connected at some deep level. So I imagine this is possible at distance as well. Kaspalita - I like Jung's thinking :-)

    Back to the post.... I find smell sense to express in my writing.

    My internet connection is intermittent today. Which is better than completely broken I guess. I find myself typing so fast now, scared I'll be thrown off at any minute. Lol.

    Kat :-)

  9. We are sensual beings. I notice that I tend to describe sounds often in my haikuish.

    Speaking of Haikuish, in regards to form, yes... Of late I have also noted that I am trying to break free of the general haiku form that I have favored since I began writing short poetry some years ago. Of course, I call my poetry haikuish because, being written in English, it can only ever approximate true haiku.

    Thanks again guys!

  10. I wrote about feeling regretful... even before you posted this... Great minds????