Sunday, March 04, 2007


In teaching research, I find it sometimes helpful to bring it to a simple level of the act of noticing. Researchers are often people trained to notice certain things, and more recently we have opened that idea to noticing without the bias of certain things limiting our "gaze." Sometimes we just want to cast our net over the side and pull things up which we notice in some particular way, sometimes systematic, sometimes not. Intentionally intending the world is an acknowledgement of otherness.

So for me, noticing has been a metaphor for discovery. It is a special way of knowing. Now that I have coupled this with my new passion for fiction, I find that writers are a special breed of noticers. They notice for me. So do poets. Such noticings are like flash points of consciousness. They are incandescent. Illuminating. Because of them I also notice. Now we have new poets in filmmakers who also notice the world and conscious awareness through intense acts of imagination.

But from the wonderful details that these noticers have discerned in the reconstructions of their imaginations, I am learning that I too, need to stay more consciously alert to the moment. Now I watch instances with new intentional intensity. Such noticing seems to demand a way of capturing the essence of the noticed. Today this has become almost routine to the vocabulary of film where the continuum of Time is shaped in instances of discovery that are of the past and the present, and are shaped as much by a creative sensibility as by historical accuracy. The things we notice create new instances for noticing.

This has transformed my own engagement with Time. Every detail of every second is the rich content of experience. Nothing we do, see, taste, smell, hear, feel, or say is trivial. Somehow all is the substance of existence and serves to define what we are and what we are becoming. Sharing our noticing increases the substance of what is real for us, expands the universe. Even in our increasing understanding of the cosmos, we learn because we notice more and more. We create special instruments for noticing time and space with many different mechanical eyes, ears, noses, tongues, and hands, with many different filters---all recorded as "data."

Maybe that is what we are: noticers of time as infinite manifestations, recording the dimensions of the cosmos as conscious awareness. It comes down to ourselves as distinct distillations of awareness, eloquently articulating multiple universes in our myriad noticing of details of being and time.

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