Ainan's uncanny attention to detail.
Ainan has always been observant. Just how observant has become clear in recent conversations.
Ainan has been watching Transformers Revenge of the Fallen. He enjoys this for reasons that are probably quite beyond Michael Bay. Ainan has taken to analyzing the most minor detail of this film: gesture, by gesture, word by word, action by action, frame by frame, he comments on it...from memory. Then he shows me what he means. In doing this he has noticed quite a few errors in the film - even basic continuity errors. He is very perceptive at this: much more so than whoever edited this particular work together. Perhaps he could make a good living, on the side, watching films and then writing a list of all their problems.
What amazes me about all of this is that what Ainan notices often occupies just a few frames of the screen: he picks up on the most minor issues, he notices every flaw, every nuance, every intended effect and every unintended result. In one example, for instance, he pointed out that in one frame, a transformer was beginning to use its right foot to crush an enemy, in the next cut, we see the same robot has just crushed the said enemy with his left foot. Ainan saw this in the rapid blur of the Transformers battles. Anyone who has seen the film will know what I mean when I say "rapid blur". He seems to have an internal view of the film, which he plays back to himself, noticing every little problem. Perhaps he does: perhaps he sees it all in his inner eye and is able to reflect on it. It certainly seems that way when he talks about it: he seems to be seeing it as he speaks.
Of course, this degree of and detail of observation skill are very useful in many more important issues than watching a film. They could make him a very good scientist - or if his interests develop in another way, artist. After all, one of the best observers in history, was no other than Leonardo da Vinci. So, observation skill is not a minor gift, but a very important substrate on which many other achievements can rest.
I can't say at this time what use Ainan might put this observation skill to, but I can say this: whatever he does, I am sure it will astonish people, who actually get the chance to hear him speak and think on his feet. For, in some ways, there is no more surprising a thing, than to just listen to what he actually manages to notice. For me, however, I am used to this kind of thing from him, but to many, who have not, it would be a real shock.
Happy looking at the world, Ainan. I hope you continue to see in it, what others miss. Perhaps that will be one pillar of who you become, one day: actually seeing, truly, what is in the world.
(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 6 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:
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