The kind of reflection I’m talking about isn’t your image reflected back to you. It’s deeper than the slightly rippled image in a pool of still water, it’s mind reflection that tries to see beyond the surface.
Reflection (in words) takes us one step farther – to articulating experiences after considering them deeply. Writing it down to keep it and prompt other ideas. It sounds easier than it is.
Examples help. I read Jenny Diski’s book Stranger on a Train (2002, Virago Press) and found many good examples of reflective practice. I’ve picked a piece out that you might enjoy and relate to. These are from pages 68-69 of the book.
First Jenny has been mindful of a moment with her cat:
Then she reflects on what she’s written.
Jenny is an excellent writer. If you’re just starting to try reflecting, I wouldn’t expect this quality of expression. But you might know something like this moment with a cat from your own experience and simply not have the words to express it.
It’s often said that writers are thieves. You learn from things you’ve read, something that gives you an idea for how to write your own thoughts. You don’t plagiarise, instead you expand on an idea, use similar phrasing and wording, tune your ears to a new cadence of expression.
And if you don’t want to do that, simply write it down any old way so that it sparks a memory. Next time your cat’s on your lap, be mindful of the relationship.