Attention

night2

Time. When did this become such a rare commodity in our modern day life? It is hard to imagine an era when time – time for ourselves, each other – was part of everyday life. Not ‘something’ to be negotiated, scheduled, squeezed into a tiny segment of our 24/7 lives. 

With this in mind the above quote by the French philosopher, Simone Weil (1909 – 1943) struck me as particularly poignant. 

How often do any of us take the time to talk, to really talk to someone? To take the time for conversations that reaches into the depths of the heart, where the spirit lies sad, where secrets are ready for harvesting. To explore moments that warrant more than a cursory glance, that necessitate our full equally mutual attention. 

Norh Pole Sunset (1)

I was motivated to write this blog of quotes by lovely Colleen at http://silverthreading.com/2016/01/06/writers-quote-wednesday-bewow-j-k-rowling/ at her regular Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Always a delight with a feast of imageuplifting, moving quotations and beautiful images. Do pop over and have a look – well worth a moment of quiet reflection in our hectic world. Who knows, you might be inspired to take part!

It took me a year, but better late than never!

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43 thoughts on “Attention

  1. Marje @ Kyrosmagica says:

    Time to pause, to talk to listen, the world seems to be moving at such a busy pace that often we don’t really listen, or talk deeply about the things that truly matter. Shame we couldn’t all slow down a bit…. sometimes and stare out the window and reflect, we need more down time..

    • Annika Perry says:

      I feel peaceful reading your comment, Marje. 😀Good for you to take the time to stare out of the window. Sometimes I have to pull myself back and tell myself to stop, look and really notice that red/pink sunset, the light cast over the trees, the play of shadows. There must be an answer to our busy pace…apart from the obvious one – slow down! I’m as guilty as the rest of the world at times!

  2. Peter R says:

    Time, the one thing we cannot “save”. It goes on regardless of out efforts, and all we can do is make the best use of it. Thanks for the reminder that we need to take the time to listen; to others, their thoughts, and our own emotions.

  3. Sherri says:

    Beautiful message Annika, giving our full attention to someone else is so important, and sadly, so lacking in today’s world. So many like to talk and give their opinions, but don’t take the time to really listen back. I love our conversations, you bless me richly. Thank you for listening ❤

    • Annika Perry says:

      Sherri, that is so true. So many like the sound of their own voices they forget to stop and listen – that is such a vital skill and often lacking. There are also pressures from so many sides upon people that it takes actual consideration to sit down and talk, to pay real attention and I think that might be a big difference in today’s world. Thank you for your lovely comment. 😀

  4. Karen Thorburn says:

    Time is our most precious resource yet we often fail to use it wisely and complain when we don’t have enough. I wonder if people have ever had enough time for each other. I think of my grandparents’ generation and how much harder life was for them than it is for us. They had very little annual leave and didn’t have modern household appliances to make light work of washing clothes and dishes etc. We have more leisure time nowadays than we’ve ever had but it still isn’t enough. Every Monday morning I ask myself how I can have a true work-life balance when I have to work five days a week. We all have a finite amount of time and need to break free of the ‘9 to 5’ routine to properly enjoy it. Unfortunately, in order to do this, we need an infinite amount of that other precious resource – money! I hope I figure out the solution to this problem before too many more years go rushing by…

    • Annika Perry says:

      Hi Karen, if you ever work out that balance let me know! I also reckon you’d make a heap of money selling the time/money dilemma. 😀 It’s interesting you mention your grandparents because I thought of mine as I was writing this. True, they didn’t have all the help always we have now, but often when carrying out certain ‘chores’, mending clothes, knitting, etc they would meet as a group and have a good natter! It’s more of a lonely affair for many nowadays I think. Even work is more rushed with no time for lunch breaks, just a quick snack at the desk. I suppose what’s important when meeting up is to make sure you’re full attention is in the moment, with that person, so not a second is wasted. Thank you for you lovely comment and for the follow. I’m happy to be following you too.

  5. restlessjo says:

    Just finding the time to visit old friends on the blog is an effort, isn’t it? Do I select a few and spend more time with them, or spread myself thinly? It depends on the day. 🙂 I do fully agree with that first quote though and I do try to make that time…. before it’s too late. 🙂

    • Annika Perry says:

      Absolutely, Jo. I think there comes a tipping point in life when you realise that ‘all the time in the world’ isn’t forever anymore and you want to make the most of it. Here on WP I have found it does indeed take time connecting properly with the people I want to, but it’s fun and I get so much out of the ‘conversations’. It’s easier than visiting my old friends who live the other side of the country or abroad – that takes both time and money! And of course, in between, we need to take that time and attention for ourselves too! 😀

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you, Inger. I know people who when asked what they want for eg. birthday presents, they will answer time, time with that person. It’s so so precious and it flies past us all at great speed.

  6. Carrie Rubin says:

    It does seem that in this interconnected world we actually spend less time in active engagement, just as you point out. We’re always buzzing around, checking this device or that. Even at work people are often using multiple devices because so much of the professional world requires technology. It’s nice to pull back every so often and just sit down for an indepth chat, face-to-face.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Carrie, I had been thinking about this increased lack of engagement with each other for a long while when I came across these quotes from Simone Weil. They were so spot on, succinct and beautiful at the same time. There is a certain irony in that all technological advances that were meant to free up time have actually bound us even tighter to work and the devices we use. In the end the decision lies with us to put what is most important first!

  7. Janice says:

    Yes, taking time, slowing down, listening are so important and hard to come by for many people given hectic schedules and technological distractions. I enjoyed your post very much.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Janice, it is all about slowing down, isn’t it? Knowing that there is time to sit and chat, to catch up. Without one’s mind drifting to other thousands of things. Thank you so much for you comment and I’m so happy you enjoyed the post.😀

  8. D. Wallace Peach says:

    Beautiful reflections on “attention,” Annika. I took a course once on the spirituality of relationships and it talked about relationships as energetic creations, like little beings, that require attention and care to grow. Without it, like children, they wither and die. We take so much for granted with the ones nearest us. Attention is a great gift to them and to ourselves 🙂

    • Annika Perry says:

      Diana, this is beautiful, so poetic and mystical! 😀 Yes, this is exactly what I feel too although I’d never considered relationships as ‘energetic creations’ exactly but what a magical phrase. Any relationship, be it marriage, partnership, parent, child, any, needs nurturing, caring. Loving attention is that life-giving, life-affirming nurture that we all crave and all need. How wonderful to go on a course abut ‘spirituality of relationships’ – I would love to know more. Have you ever posted about it? Thank you so much for giving me so much more ‘food’ for thought.

      • D. Wallace Peach says:

        I haven’t posted much more than I shared with you – it sparked a new way of looking at the invisible, so I never forgot it. Now I think of my characters that way too – as real energtic entities. 🙂

  9. Jacqui Murray says:

    I remember when I was younger, and ‘olders’ did spend time asking questions and being interested, I thought it was quaint, something one does when you have nothing else to do (like when you’re old). Now, I’m discovering the joy of getting to know a topic, a person, rather than skimming past them.

    • Annika Perry says:

      I always enjoyed the time I had with my grandparent’s, the time they took to sit and chat and listen. Often they would be busy with their hands, my grandmother with her crocheting as we sat in the evening by the dusk light, or I’d join my grandfather during the day as he sat and fixed the nets. Always talking, meandering in ideas and emotions. Lovely moments and not so easily replicated today. It’s great when you do as you obviously feel too.

    • Annika Perry says:

      It is odd how the future that was predicted full of leisure time and for ourselves, family and friends became one of hectic stress and all those technologies that were supposed to free time up have in many cases ended up suffocating time out of the day. Many thanks for your comment, Jill.

        • Annika Perry says:

          That’s not good, Jill. Is there any way you can reduce some of the work load? I know I should probably be on FB etc but decided not to be – it seemed so much of a commitment. Talking to a relative recently he is totally overwhelmed with his unread emails of over 23,000 – to the extent he doesn’t dare open the email app anymore!

  10. JC says:

    A great post, Annika. There was a time when I would get in a car, drive 8 hours just to see a friend for a few hours. But technology got in the way. We use to write letters but texting took over. I think we need to reconnect to a more personal communication. Technology is good but in the right measure. I do love blogging because it has allowed me to speak more freely and meet people I would never have met. But I can see where blogging could also go overboard. Thank you!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you so much, JC. I agree technology is one of the great ‘perpetrators’ of stealing our attention away from each other but also feel work stress and other factors are also responsible. In the end it’s up to us all to turn off, turn up, pick up the pen and stay in that moment of ‘attention giving and receiving’ Blogging is delightful, inspirational and often educational and now I have established a good routine my stress over this has ebbed away. I think that is important for us all.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Many thanks Colleen, it’s been fun putting the pictures and words together – once I worked out I needed to open the ‘treasure box’ on preview on the mac to get a text box! I so enjoy reading inspirational quotes and gathering my own selection for years so look forward to sharing more often. 😄

  11. Anonymous says:

    Your comments are so true. These days taking time does not happen automatically. It’s such a shame that we have to make time to appreciate and take time and live in the here and now.

    Thanks so much for the reminder.

    Mike

    • Annika Perry says:

      Tony, I also find that people now move further afield or abroad even, so it’s harder to see each other often. However, on the plus side the ease of modern technology and Skype etc makes it easier to talk and share. It’s all a juggling act, maybe just one that needs more consideration now and then. Particularly when chatting etc to concentrate on that rather than trying to do one or three other activities at the same time (oh, kindly reminder to myself!)

  12. Mirja says:

    Thank you Annika, so very much for this true and beautiful post. I am very fond of this
    French philosopher myself and the quotes , if lived by, will create harmony and peace.
    And you have chosen a moon to shine over us – equally on everyone on this Earth.

    Time is for living, not killing. Have a happy Sunday.:)

    • Annika Perry says:

      Mirja, your poetic comment is like a gentle blessing to us all – full of stillness and as peaceful as the words themselves. I wish you a days upon day of harmony and may the moon light bring calmness to us all. Warmest wishes.❤️ PS> Hope you have also had a wonderful Sunday.

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