What feelings does this word evoke? What sorts of memories does it recall? Which of your senses start to tingle? How would you represent what this word means to you?
I got my camera out on Saturday, the first time in months. I’d made a necklace as a present for somebody, and wanted to take a picture for my portfolio. With the necklace suspended from the window catch, the idea was that the green and pink of the trees outside would blur into a pleasing background for the green and pink beads of the necklace.
It took me several tries to achieve that. The first few, of course, had beautiful sharp leaves and blossoms, with a vague green and pink blur in front.
Yesterday I was pleased that I had my camera to hand. The heavy rain brought a toad out onto the path in the back garden, and I wanted a photo of him. I had to shoot through the french window, and so I have several photos of a toad, overlaid with milky white raindrops.
Focus is a choice. I will concentrate on this thing, and not that. Last week, unexpectedly, I ended up at the pub with some colleagues. One of them said something about multi-tasking. ‘Oh,’ I said, ‘I can’t multi-task. I think it’s a myth.’
She smiled and admitted that she can’t, either, and proved the point a few minutes later: she was looking at something on her phone when somebody spoke to her. She only heard the third time.
When I talked about that necklace I made, I didn’t say that I was trying to do it in front of the telly, watching the qualifying for the Chinese grand prix. Hopeless. I made a fantastic necklace, but the finer points of the F1 passed me by completely. I should have known.
One thing at a time. And yet. It is rare for me to do one thing at a time, at least for long. I can focus, but my focus gets tired. However, I can do a succession of things, flitting from one to another, and find after about three hours that I have made significant progress on a lot of them. A kind of roving focus, I suppose. After all, I’m not a camera. It’s a lot easier for me to choose. A, and not B. Or, A and then B, and then C, and then D, until they’re all done.