The jump-off line comes from The Metaphysicians of South Jersey by Stephen Dunn. I’m not actually good with small details, observation doesn’t come naturally to me so below is really just my attempt:
The many small things I’ve seen… the morning dew on a leaf, the rain droplet on a window pane, a flower petal trodden down in the mud.
The many small things I’ve seen… the sweat bead on my own palm, the movement of my own fingers, twisting around each other in a seemingly secret language of its own. Or perhaps they were just telling me of their anguish.
The many small things… moments that I could not grasp at, have forgotten, have let slip by. I am not great at remembering. Never was. Not in that way. If you ask me about a certain day, what jumped out at me was the routine. I like routine. I cling on to routine. So this is where my mind takes comfort in, like a well-used pillow or cushion.
The many small things I’ve heard… cars honking, the noise of the ground underneath the car that almost became a tune as you moved to its rhythm. Talking of tunes, I used to be able to almost make sleeping lullabies out of the sound of passing cars. That was in Hong Kong. It’s not as romantic or magical as the picture I presented. Just habit and my body’s reflexes.
The many small things I’ve heard… the sound of my own beating heart, I can actually only hear it after exercise. Else I hear nothing. The notes I sang… they never were what I intended to sing. They were always out of tune unless there was an instrument to guide me.