8:18
As I sit at my art table in my studio, I can see a tree across the street. By my calculations, I have viewed it roughly 14,000 times in the two decades we’ve lived here. And only today am I noticing its strangeness.

Enormity

January 19, 2018
The highway in front of me tonight is a dark seam through gray snow. Stars burn coldly in the black above. And I am feeling small.
It is afternoon and in a German hotel, where I am working in a corporate session, they have given rocks to snack on. Sorry, I exaggerate: pebbles. In a bowl.
My phone, apparently suffering from jet lag, reminds me to notice as I’m sitting on a train at 2:18, on my way to a castle. But it’s no ordinary ruin. I expect to unearth memories.
I am high over Western Europe when today’s moment of observation arrives. The sun floats radiant over a Berber carpet of clouds. How can anything be so beautiful?
My plan had been to interrupt my breakfast with Mike at 8:18 and have us both play What Do I See? But we are deep in conversation when the time arrives. I hold the thought.
I am prepared for my first trip of the year. At 8:18 this morning, I am strapping into my car and heading out on a highway so familiar, I could probably narrate the drive with my eyes closed.
I am thinking about journeys. I see the pile of boxes in the hall, one of the many that emerged from yesterday’s de-cluttering, and I wonder how we’ll ever transition to a smaller house, when that day comes.
There will be days when the object of my prayerful attention will be a subtle thing – a slight movement, an overheard word, the surprise of color. This was not one of those days.
I am in the middle of a long swig of now lukewarm tea from my thermos when the reminder on my phone sounds. This makes me wonder how often I’ll be standing in my kitchen at 8:18AM on any given day.

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