Yesterday I see a woman playing a hurdy gurdy in front of two people sitting in lawn chairs. She had a mic stand set up. I know it is a hurdy gurdy because last year I played some videos about hurdy gurdys to my music class and we talked about them at some length. And there one was. I felt like stopping and saying something, but I wasn’t sure what I would say or why. It would end up, like so many social interactions, awkward and like recreating the Big Gulp scene in Dumb and Dumber. “Big Gulps, Huh? All right. Well, see you later.” So I drive on, with that still nagging feeling that somehow that event meant something, or I was supposed to do something with it.

I drove to pick up my kids. They are playing in the backyard at grandma’s house. They are making mucky sand. The recipe for making mucky sand is as follows: get sand, add water. They can’t stop saying it, “Making mucky sand. Making mucky sand.” And they are in heaven. They love it. I listened to my daughter run around the backyard saying “mucky sand for sale” over and over. Say it out loud. Mucky sand for sale. It sounds amazing.

Why am I saying this? I appreciate specifics, wherever they are found. I like to savor them. Laugh and relaugh at a joke or a comment or an event. Specifics make things interesting. Writing, art, conversation, food, music, all of it. Sometimes the world is screaming with meaning, alive with examples, and full of interesting. Often I am left with this feeling of trying to figure out what it means, or why it’s happening, or how to do something with it. And sometimes all I can do is savor it. Sit there and savor a specific. Maybe that’s the point. Notice and enjoy. Look around.

Yesterday my daughter was up really early. It was dark outside. I was wrestling with something in my mind and hadn’t calmed it with coffee, and my daughter runs out of her room, gives me a giant hug and says, “Dad, isn’t it gorgeous outside?” Gorgeous is the word my three year old said. Say it. Gorgeous. That’s a fun word.

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