Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saving Face


Brenda from The Big Fresh passed on the following from The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp:

"A Manhattan writer I know never leaves his apartment without reminding himself to "come back with a face." Whether he's walking down the street or sitting on a park bench or riding the subway or standing on a checkout line, he looks for a compelling face and works up a rich description of it in his mind. When he has a moment, he writes it all down in his notebook. Not only does the exercise warm up his descriptive powers, but studying the crags, lines, and bumps of a stranger's face forces him to imagine the individual's life." (The Creative Habit, p. 30)

I love this. It is the sort of exercise that challenges one to be disciplined and intentional while wandering through life. It asks us to really see the people around us, to think of individuals with empathy and compassion. Maybe it asks us to think of walking in another's shoes. Coming home with a face might eventually inspire more right actions in the world. Think I'll give it a try.

4 comments:

Tabor said...

This is a perfectly wonderful exercise and as I head out on my travels in a day I will try to keep this in mind! I now need to pack a small notebook!

Maggie said...

Great idea. Thanks.

One Woman's Journey said...

I like this. I know many times I do something similar as I see people. Always a people watcher.
May be the fact that I do not wander from the woods to often :)

Deb said...

Love the exercise too! Think It would make fun post series...I will ponder.