My scattered thoughts dance amongst various mental to-do lists and projects, and yet it is the small things that still assail my vision. A fallen branch on the lawn. Two friends glancing my way in muted conversation, barely managing a hello. People sitting uncomfortably clumped together at tables, and yet distinctly separated from other groups. Freshmen rushing to classes ridiculously early, sophomore girls preening in front of library mirrors, juniors in messy buns and glasses exchanging books and flashcards, and seniors nowhere to be seen. In my ordinary morning walk through the paths of campus, I have become aware that although my mind forays in the clouds, this world is perceived very much in the details, and I am reminded of a note I wrote to myself a few months ago:
I did not teach my eyes to see, but I am still training them to look for the right things.
At any given moment, the sheer mass of stimuli threatens to overpower our senses, but our brains have evolved to only process the details deemed important. At any given moment we are subconsciously filtering what we see, hear, smell, taste, touch, what we think and thus what we comprehend from the world around us. Perhaps the eyes are the best example.
What are we looking for in each moment? From the infinity that surrounds us, what “finity” have we chosen to focus on? What kind of details have we deemed important enough? Are we finding reasons to be envious, to be lonely, or to be loved? Do we search for good or do we justify our own imperfection in the pursuit of negativity?
Amongst thousands of fleeting impressions, our memory chooses only a few to store. We are built upon a lifetime of these moments and yet we are so careless of what we absorb from our environment. Some would say you are what you eat, but in some ways we are what we see. Are we looking for the right things?
Claire Crafts is a young author and aspiring poet from Southern California. She published her first novel, Trust the Wind, at the age of sixteen. She is currently pursuing new creative projects and hopes to publish again soon in the future. When not writing, Claire enjoys reading, practicing yoga, spending time with family and friends, and exploring positive psychology.