In his book "Show your work," Austin Kleon says, "Writers are professional observers." To become a writer and be more observant, I'm starting a new series of posts where I give an account of some things I learned and observed inside and around me. I hope this will enable me to be more present in the moment and pay more attention to the world around me.
Images of the Sun
Remember how we see the small circles of light coming through the window where there's a small hole/opening? Those are not just because the light enters through the hole. They are images of the sun itself, but slightly distorted ones. Likewise, if you observe the same way, say during a partial solar eclipse, you will see a crescent instead of a circle. This is the principle behind pinhole cameras, which we might have learned in school.
There was a pop-up event at work this week where small businesses from the bay area had set up stalls for selling Christmas gifts. There was one such stall with a metal sculpture collection the likes of which I'd never seen anywhere else. Their website is https://www.metalsouls.com/. The sculptures are made from everyday materials like nuts, bolts, screws, etc. Do check them out. Here are some pictures of their collection. Not just this store but everybody I spoke to during the event was kind, sweet, and passionate about their work. This is not a paid promotion but just a small contribution in my way to support small businesses this holiday season.
I've been following Stoicism for a couple of years now, and one of the core principles of the stoic philosophy is beautifully put forth by Marcus Aurelius in his journal collection, which was compiled into a book called "Meditations."
“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
When something happens, irrespective of whether it is happy or sad, it's not the event that's the problem, but it's the story we tell ourselves about the event, which, more often than not, is not factual. A small "Aha! moment" happened this week when I caught myself in the act. Something to ponder upon.
That's all I have for now. What are some interesting things you have observed in your mind and surroundings lately? I'd love to know. Thanks for reading!