This morning, as I was reading the comics in yesterday’s paper (I seem to only have time during the weekend to dig through the pages to find the comics), I ran into one that both made me chuckle, and reminded me of an essential practice for writers. This Hi and Lois comic reminds me of the new insights I receive whenever I spend time with my nieces or nephews, and the importance of seeing the world with fresh eyes.
The challenge for us as writers is how to keep paying attention. How do we stay awake to the wonder and beauty of human experience? Moments of difficulty and suffering can temporarily blind us to the blessings in our lives, but they can also make us more sensitive to beauty because we are more in tune with the fragility and giftedness of life.
Routine is my greatest challenge for seeing with fresh eyes. But routine makes it easier for me to write. And then, I’ll overhear my niece ask her mother how she got striped hair, and I realize anew that I’ve limited the meaning of gray hair to just one thing, but for children it can mean many things.