When you're in an experience, it acts like a bolt of fabric thrown up in the air. The center spins as it gives off yard after yard of cloth. You focus on the action, and the sound.
Later - minutes, hours, days, weeks, sometimes even years - later, you examine it all more carefully: the arm sweeps over the fabric, smoothing it against the table. You bend in closely to see the detail - the themes and threads of conversation carried throughout. Your eye is naturally drawn to details: the small flaws that went unremarked when it all whipped by you, as well as the small embellishments: a particuarly sweet or unexpected gesture.
Sometimes, driving home, I wonder when I'll see the pattern - when I'll understand how this particular piece fits into my life, how it has been affected by things before, and how it inexorably affects what comes after.