Paying Attention

Hard at work!

“The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”
— Henry Miller

I was going to leave this post with a picture and the above quote when my 8 year old, who now reads this blog, suggested I write more. So here’s more on paying attention and why I think it’s akin to love.

If you have seen Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird you will know what I am talking about. In the movie, a nun tells the protagonist, a high school student who likes to go by the name, Lady Bird, that it’s pretty clear she loves Sacramento.

Lady Bird is taken aback, because in her mind she can’t wait to leave it all behind her to go to a college far, far away. Struggling to come up with an answer, she casually replies, “I guess I pay attention.”

That’s when the movie does its magic. The nun asks, “Don’t you think they’re the same thing? Love and attention?”

Yes, they are the same to a great extent. This bring me to why I love my job – travel writing. It’s simple. I get to pay attention.

When there’s a brief and a deadline hanging over my head, I pay attention to the obscure and the mundane, I try to take in the sounds and smells, and I end up having a more enjoyable experience.

As my one of my favored poets, Mary Oliver said,

“Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”

I try. I do.

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