In listening to the commentary track to John from Cincinnati episode 1 on my DVD set, David Milch is talking about some scientist or philosopher who writes about the use of our senses and different senses that have taken ascendency at any one time. His example is that you're driving somewhere and you've got music on and when you know where you're going you don't have to pay that much attention to the driving so you listen to the music and you hear the music and you remember the music you listen to, but if you're going someplace you've never been you really have to pay attention to the turns and the street signs and all that and then you don't at all listen to or pay attention to or remember the music you were listening to. That rings true to me. In the case of the commentary he's talking about how our past lives, not in the sense of reincarnation just the events feelings and memories of our past, can also kind of take over from how we interpret events of our present. How we can't or do not often just process the present as the present but have to color it with all these past feelings, and I'd argue that's good and bad on many different levels (we need the benefit or our knowledge and experience) but in the show it's a bad thing just because of the trauma, the "issues" the characters have that caused them to mess up and be unable to connect with people in the present.
But I was thinking about that this morning, just how the things I noticed walking around the block vary greatly depending on how wrapped up I am in my thoughts or thinking about some specific project or past event and just how much I'm paying attention to one thing or the other. I do a lot of looking at the sidewalk in front of me or looking around but then if I kind of switch that off and listen and smell I will notice other things even though both of those senses are not my best (for the ringing in my ears and my allergies). This morning noticing the smell of wood burning in someone's fireplace nearby, the smoke drifting to me, and the sound of the water in the creek going under the bridge and the sound of the birds most of which I can't identify or try to identify and have in the past and then immediately forget. And I realize I don't always pay that close attention to a lot of those senses even looking. I'm often looking and really I'm thinking I'm not looking at stuff which is why drawing, observational drawing, can be such a great way process, to really look rather than just seeing something and categorizing it and then moving on without getting the detail and the nuance and the specificity.