the backyard project



It seems that so much of a writer's job is to notice. To pay attention. To understand what, say, sadness looks like. We might see it in someone's eyes. We might understand where it is hidden. We might sense it in brushwood left behind after a storm.


I've lately thought if you and I could notice what was right in front of us, we might better understand where we are and, with that, who we are. When I cycle through the seasons, I think how much my life mirrors what I see and how I see it. Sometimes I see possibility in the bud of a flower in spring. Sometimes, I'll see the same bud and feel a sense of sadness for all it will endure in its short life. (Wind. Heat. A hungry deer.) I guess the way I see it just depends on the day. I guess it just depends on me.


Every day, I see my backyard through the french doors. We have two sets of them. I remember reading the real estate listing for our home before we bought it. It said the home had "flow" because of its multiple entry points. So I thought if I could notice something every day in the same place, I might understand something about myself in that moment. So I'm calling it the backyard project. I'm not going to capitalize it or anything like that. That's just what it is.


If you have a window, or a door, if you are a writer in the world, you have the task of noticing what's beyond it. You have a backyard project, too.



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