I am constantly absorbing interesting things. Even when I shouldn’t be. I can be having a very serious conversation with a doctor for instance, while simultaneously taking in competing information. The other day as I talked with a specialist about medication doses, I kept wondering about the wedding ring he mysteriously sported on the wrong hand. I was barely able to restrain myself from interrupting and asking what that was about.
I may or may not have gotten the point of the consultation.
And in the hallway that was lined with large framed photos of uncomfortable looking hospital personnel, I found myself imagining the photo shoots that resulted in so many uniformly crossed arms. (Did the photographer bark orders? Say rude things about hairstyles? Have dog breath?) Later I realized I had no idea why those particular people were actually displayed. You might say I missed the big picture.
Attention to detail may run in the family.
When Maggie Ryan, our youngest, was in middle school she had to study for a test about Shakespeare. She committed things to memory like the names of his twins (Hamnet and Judith) affording this minutiae as much mental space as the plots of his plays. I was very proud of my budding writer.
While getting lost in the weeds is, I suppose, a danger, it’s these fine points that make things interesting. I am always baffled by people who don’t ask the follow-ups.
Or at least make some up and call it fiction.
Here are a few pictures from the aforementioned medical field trip. I assume these are commemorative fundraising bricks that hold up the ceilings. They are amazing.
And beg for backstories.
I wonder if the above brick with the plea is related to the one below.
And my personal favorite, a permanent inscription made by a twisting knife.