Book fanned out into a work of art, with corners folded into a geometrical ridging pattern

Noticing the details in life’s quiet corners ::: A lesson in mindfulness

Walking into the library, I paused and smiled as an art display caught my eye. Someone had taken the simplest of materials and turned it into something magnificent. Paper had become prize, telling a story in its new and unexpected form.

Carefully-cut pages of a book clung airily to the creme-colored fabric of a mannequin, wrapping her in a fragile, stunning, one-of-a-kind fashion statement. Pasty-white hands crept out from the center of a hollowed-out novel — ironic in their paper-mache composition — the very same material from which they were yearning to escape. A third book fanned out like an accordion, each corner folded ever-so-slightly differently from its neighbor to create a geometrical ridging pattern along the edge.

Before leaving my constant bustle of a life that used to imprison me in the illusion of progress, I never would have noticed life’s intricacies in this way. Now artistic detail called to me like a siren. I crouched and snapped a photo, making a mental note to send it to along to a kindred soul later. Someone else who feels this calling to the beautiful and the complex and the challenging and even, sometimes, the hideous.

I’ve come to the belief that art compels the souls of the very people that are meant to see it.

Some people aren’t ready to see the messages that artists have to share, so they look away in disinterest or disgust, or they fail to notice altogether. They breeze past without second thought. I’ve been that person for most of my life, but once you’ve been awakened to the significance of life’s smaller details, it’s nearly impossible to ignore them.

It can be distracting sometimes, to see all these works and masterpieces — both intentional and unintentional — but not once have I regretted stopping to take them in. Each encounter of artistic complexity gives its audience something new as we interpret them in our own way.

Noticing life’s details helps to bring us to whatever truths we need to know.

Book fanned out and turned into art through folding of the pages in a geometrical pattern

Not sure how to quiet your mind long enough to notice the details? Start here: my favorite meditation app, Calm (available on iOS & Android).

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