What We Don't Notice

I’d never seen the building before.

It wasn’t some pint-sized cottage. It was a multi-story, multi-unit gray construction made of sharp angles and bay windows. It was big enough to command a parking lot in front full of the tenants’ cars. Big enough to be visible on an aerial map of the city.

This building is on my way to work, to the library, gym, grocery store, beloved coffee spot. I have walked past it twice a day, roughly 12 times a week, some 48 times a month, 200 times since moving into my house. And still, I never noticed it. Until one morning, I turned my head left for no particular reason and saw it.

What else, then? What other buildings, barges in the harbor, treehouses, vistas, curbside gardens, tide pools, people? What else have I walked by hundreds of times and not noticed, never knew existed?

I have read that 50% of our brain is dedicated to vision. Now I wonder if that 50% processes the same parade of things we choose to notice over and over again.

So then, a mid-year resolution. I will turn my head more. For no particular reason other than I want to miss as few of the world’s treehouses, vistas, people as possible.

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