Tag Archives: attention

Time-Machine Powers

“Books have always been time machines, in a sense. Today, their time-machine powers are even more obvious – and even more inspiring. They can transport us to a pre-internet frame of mind.” – Michael Harris It’s really a bit frightening how quickly the widespread use of the internet, for everything from business to education to …

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My state of general wonder

“Not until years later would I realize that my state of general wonder throughout this process, peppered though it was with fear and doubt, would help preserve my sanity through the events that followed.” — Hilary Tindle Sometimes I will hear or read a sentence that rings so true in my own experience that I …

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Close at hand

“Survival starts by paying attention to what is close at hand and immediate. To look out with idle hope is tantamount to dreaming one’s life away.” ― Yann Martel Last summer I bought a small hibiscus plant at a clearance price, and brought it home to our deck. It thrived and bloomed profusely, until I …

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A sentinel all around

“…if we starve ourselves of mental junk and replace it with what is true, admirable, right, pure, beautiful, and attractive, peace will stand as a sentinel all around our feelings and thoughts, creating an impregnable fortress of calm and tranquility.” — David Murray Could you use some calm and tranquility right now? I know I …

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Truly artistic

“The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” — Vincent Van Gogh Quick, think of your stereotype of an artist.  Did you picture someone isolated, temperamental, aloof or demanding of perfection?  Someone slightly out of touch with “normal” life?  I have to admit, that’s …

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Worthy of note

“Recently I was visited by a very good friend who had just returned from a long walk in the woods, and I asked her what she had observed. ‘Nothing in particular,’ she replied. I might have been incredulous had I not been accustomed to such responses, for long ago I became convinced that the seeing …

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What we must give

“Attention is love, what we must give children, mothers, fathers, pets, our friends, the news, the woes of others. What we want to change we curse and then pick up a tool. Bless whatever you can with eyes and hands and tongue. If you can’t bless it, get ready to make it new.”  — Marge …

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The seriousness of a child

“Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.” — Heraclitus There’s a lot of talk about how childhood is magical and carefree, and I agree that it was (or is) a wondrous time for many of us.  Yet even with the most advantageous childhood, I think the first …

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Until I write

“I cannot see what I have gone through until I write it down. I am blind without a pencil…But it does seem a slow and wasteful process. (Like walking, tapping with a cane.)…There is so much waste in creativity, always.  But there is something curious about creativity: the trying-too-hard for results seems to defeat itself.” …

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Clarity from stillness

“If water derives clarity from stillness, how much more so does the mind!” — Zhuangzi In a recent post, I discussed the fascination of watching moving waters.  But still waters are captivating as well, particularly when they mirror beautiful scenery. Stillness is a trait that doesn’t come naturally to me.  Even when my body is not …

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Pay attention

“Choice of attention, to pay attention to this and ignore that, is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer.” – W. H. Auden Auden captures a truth here that has always been evident to me, yet remains elusive in the ongoing rush of life.  When one is distractible or detail-oriented, …

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