I used to write here just about every day. Then, some years ago I took on part-time online work that involved doing some writing for others. It’s been an interesting journey and one that has taken me away from this place more than I like.
Other things have changed, too. My interest in women’s soccer — one of the drivers of this blog early on — has dwindled. Was it the personalities I was fascinated by, more than the game itself? Maybe. But I’ve also found that nearly anything that you pay close attention to becomes palpably more real and interesting. With less attention, the bond weakens and the object of interest gradually loses its color and meaning.
Nuanced and fascinating worlds exist at every turn — all that’s lacking is the time to move in close enough to notice and appreciate. So, in some ways, the choice to focus creates interest and meaning – and the choice is more or less arbitrary.
Then there’s this…
So the other thing I’ve noticed these recent years is that I’m on the receiving end of so much more input than I used to be. It’s the reality of our world today, and I’m partly to blame. I mean, right now I’m half-listening to my “Daily Briefing.” Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ twangy voice drones, flat and a wee bit defensive, in my left ear, while I write this. It’s just terrible for focus. But Alexa is sitting right next to me, and she has things to share!
So my attention is nearly always divided. And I own that it’s a choice I am making. And maybe, just maybe, it’s starting to sink in that it doesn’t help.
Connecting by Letting Go
Don’t you remember how particular and magical things felt to you as a child? The tree at the corner of your street? The mug that held your apple juice? The steps you climbed to go to bed?
There’s no getting back to that singular focus and connection. But when I say, “Alexa stop” I am here in the silence of my room, in a way that I wasn’t before. The sounds of my fingers on the keyboard, my breathing as I write, are the only noises. In these quiet moments, I am not hearing about Hillary’s new book or hurricanes or North Korea or anything else that’s happening in the world.
But I am here right now, typing.
That’s enough. It really is.