We Are To Be Good Noticers


“We are to be good noticers,” I shared with them. For so long now, I’ve been seeking the most simple narratives of why we gather in circle to talk and listen with each other.

This time, “them” were participants at the retreat and training that I cohosted last week. There were 14 of us from varied locations within the US and Canada. But this could be any group. Teachers. Community organizers. A private conversation with my daughter.

It matters that any of us seek to see the less obvious — that’s the kind of human I am, and I suppose, seek to be. Like when I walk early morning and see this flower above growing roadside on Whidbey Island, Washington. It holds my attention, for a noticed moment.

Life is nuanced so much more than a marketing pitch to get me to buy shit that I don’t need, or than a political manipulation that isn’t unlike a party at which everyone must sort through everyone else’s two lies and a truth.

Noticing matters. It isn’t all figured out. And perhaps isn’t meant to be.

Noticing together matters. About our projects. About our community needs. About our respective human journeys. About what will carry us to the future. About what has been significant from our pasts.

And I have this hunch that our noticing together isn’t just about gaining more perspective — though it often seems to me that that would be enough. Our noticing together changes the nature and makeup of the very thing we are noticing. It’s that dynamic.

And that, rather changes the noticing context, doesn’t it. We notice something into being — its relevance. Its connectedness. Its momentary place of belonging. Just as we listen a story into being with our attentiveness.

We are to be good noticers. Individually and collectively. That’s a simple that I’ll stay with today, seeking flowers, if not externally along roadsides, internally along inner roadsides.

We are to be good noticers.

2 Replies to “We Are To Be Good Noticers”

  1. Yes! One of the benefits of a month’s long hibernation due to illness and injury was that I was not called to DO anything. Of course I read and did some writing, but mostly I luxuriated in the freedom and time to just take in what ever was around me at that moment. Even if I stayed in pretty much the same place most of the day, the day changed around me as the sun moved around the house and shifted the light and shadows in the room, as people moved through, were there and left something behind them as they moved on. Fragrances, the early morning smell of damp earth and grass, the on-again off-again chorus of bird conversations, the school bus brakes, the wind in the trees, the distant train whistle, the rustling of papers and the clanging of pots and pans in the kitchen. I soaked in the almost silence and later in the day delighted in the sound of the children racing up and down the streets after school. I am well now, but the noticing persists. My husband and I share time of just noticing and sometimes point out our discoveries to each others. And now, back in society, I notice nuances of expression and voice and posture and passion. So much begins with the noticing. So much of life deepens and is enriched in the noticing. Now you have encouraged me to point that out to my circle learners. Thank you.

    1. Wonderful Deborah. There is a kind of surrender to it, isn’t there. In a way that even for a moment, links us more palpably to the whole of it. I’m glad for this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *