Montaigne’s trick for paying close attention

The trick is to maintain a kind of naive amazement at each instant of experience-but, as Montaigne learned, one of the best techniques for doing this is to write about everything. Simply describing an object on your table, or the view from your window, opens your eyes to how marvelous such ordinary things are.

How to Live, or A Life of Montaigne, In one question and twenty attempts at an answer. Sarah Bakewell. Chapter 2 Pay Attention, pg 37.

This could be a productive writing exercise. 200 words describing the closest object near you.


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