Fast moving world, attention
I remember the first time I went into a drug induced trip, although I don’t condone drug use and think it can cause damage, philologically or otherwise, it was quite an experience. The world before my eyes not only was filled with an astonishing clarity, the colors gain vibrance, shapes a lot more depth, but the sounds, the smell and the sense of touch gain considerable sensitivity. I was at first immerse in a world of multiplied sensorial input and later in the world within me. Although I haven’t done it in a long time, I still consider it a serious-fun experience I am incredibly grateful for it. It taught me a lot about the world, about me and more importantly, the importance to paying attention.
How many times have you stopped in the middle of the street to contemplate a leave? More importantly, do you actually remember how the shade of colors gradually lighten up from the middle going to the edges? Do you remember how the light doesn’t reflect evenly on the surface ? Do you remember the green tonality? Do you remember the eyes color of the waitress at the restaurant? Do you remember the sensual figure those lips where painting on the air? Did you pay attention to the melody of her voice? or where just following her words like a zombie in a self-induced state of coma, after the same boring greeting without taking your time to enjoy moment?
You may argue that we only pay attention to what we like. It is actually the other way around, we actually like what we pay attention to. We marble at the world’s wonders when we pay close attention, not only our liking increases at the same rate we find beauty on the small details expanding our perceptions, but our capacity for love, for understanding, for open-mindedness also increases along with it. Yet, we live our lifes on a hurry, we wake up five minutes before going to work, we ignore so many wonderful tastes the breakfast offers rushing bite after bite. We say goodbye to our lover without even stopping to enjoy the taste of his/her lips and there we go, rushing thru the traffic, music out loud, ignoring all the view before our eyes. “ABC of living detached from the world for dummies”, I could write a book a about it.
The moment have magic, attention itself does too. The more we focus on the details the more we find, like a never-ending stream of new perceptions. The more we pay attention to them, the more we connect to everything surrounding us, the more we enjoy life. We stop criticising the awful desert because we felt in love with the awesome mix of flavors of the meal before it, we stop complaining about the weather because a delight we recently discovered on the raindrops, so our mind shifts focus to what we really like, and there is so many likes on the small details we usually ignore everyday. And so in the same measure we start paying attention to the world around us, we are also involuntary listening to ourselves more and more, we discover the pieces the universe have in common with us, what feels good outside is exactly what match us inside.
We may very well be depressed, we may very well feel beaten by losses one after the other. Sometimes life feels like a train, delivering the same cargo one after the other and you wonder when is it going to stop? “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” – Albert Einstein – said. Truth is opportunity lies on the attention to the details the endless stream of life offer us, it just that sometimes it takes difficulties to make us aware of them but they always were there. So why not slow down on life and start to pay attention at the world that surround us? It may feel weird at first walking in slow motion, like a movie at 60fps, that’s just self-consciousness, and once we start enjoying we forget about it and really like the process.
“All sanity depends on this: that it should be a delight to feel heat strike the skin, a delight to stand upright, knowing the bones moving easily under the flesh.”
– Doris Lessing
Remember, quality of life also lies on our capacity for delight.