Divided

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.

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6 Responses to Divided

  1. Alice says:

    For some of us (yes, I’m talking about me, but expect I’m not alone), that “silence” calls forth the urge to quickly return to the distracting clatter of news, radio, computer, TV, and/or phone to keep from being gripped by the throbbing ache of loneliness. Silence can prompt either the fear of loneliness or the gift of solitude that you describe. The challenge–for me anyway– is how to transform the paralysis of loneliness into the richness of solitude.

    “The cure for loneliness is solitude.”—-Marianne Moore

    ps thought provoking blog, Jordy–great to see it and think about it.

    Like

    • Hi Alice – I love that line from Marianne Moore, and appreciate your comment. Interesting to think about why I choose noise over silence. For me (and I am really just talking about me) I think it has more to do with avoiding myself. And I am determined to stop doing that!

      Like

  2. Julie says:

    Funny..this fit perfectly with my morning practice today. No radio, simply feeling the energy flow in my body, and practicing a new breathing technique. You put the period on it.

    Like

  3. Katie says:

    I hear you loud and clear! We are in such information overload — we could use it as compost to fuel what we’re working on, but when does it become too much? I’ve been practicing the idea of “protecting my time.” I think it’s helping. I don’t want to be one of those clueless people who have no idea what’s going on in the world, but I have things that I want to accomplish and I know that I can’t when I’m consuming Twitter and the news with no barriers. Our walks help me with that, too 🙂

    Like

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