This is another exercise from the Rob Walker book- The Art of Noticing. The goal was to look at things that are technically the same, yet have their own personality stamped upon them.

I chose to do the panels that cover the stairs that lead to basements of stores. This was easy as I live in a densely packed urban environment, and there are a plethora of them.

When these covers were first installed, they would have looked exactly the same- color, pattern, size. Yet time apparently ages and changes everything… Some developed holes, while others experienced a color change, or addition of stickers, or stains that reminded my of Italy…

I walk past these every single day, yet I never stop to really look at them. These are things to walk over or past or simply avoid… It’s easy to assume that because they do the same job, they are all alike. But we can’t assume any two things are exactly alike. Time, our environment, all have a part to play when shaping us.

Every now and then, stop to look closely at things you may not have paid much attention to. It’s fascinating to see things from fresh eyes, from a fresh perspective. You might learn more than you think.

26 thoughts on “Document

  1. I’m reading Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer- a botanist and indigenous environmentalist. Her stories about the complexity of mosses have me looking everyday on my walks trying to notice differences, and there are many. We miss so much about our world and the people in it when we fail to pay attention all around us.

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      1. Yes! Already read that and daughter has borrowed it but I’m reclaiming to read again! Gathering Moss is just as profound and I have learned so much about moss, our world and all the symbiotic relationships on our planet among species.

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  2. Look and observe. Both such large parts of life and more so at this time of year. The weather is warming so mother nature is waking up. Notice nature and a bluer sky. Notice people’s faces as the dread of winter fades. Time for our annual rebirth so don’t miss it.

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    1. It’s a spectacular exercise, and I’m going to try it out, too. There’s much magic to discover in the everyday, and I’m glad you’ve reminded us of it. Too often we look for the BIG BANGS and forget how much joy there is on those small moments?

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  3. LA, you never cease to amaze me. Now I’ll be focused on mailboxes and storm drains for the rest of the week. I really like anything that expands our focus and draws us deeper into the imagery around us. What a great way of looking at things. Hugs, C

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  4. I really like the idea of this exercise- it’s great to be able to look at things and see how theyUpdated. I was wondering if you ever felt this way when your home was new, or when you first moved in?kmcgregor

    Do you mean when you move into a new place? or when you move out of?


  5. I haven’t seen a single steel panel like that where I live. I suppose it’s possible that I just haven’t noticed them, but more likely, they just don’t exist in my small town. I’ll keep an eye out though!

    Now, if I wanted to pay attention to barn doors or barbed wire fenceposts, that’s a much easier exercise.

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