Paying Attention


Anyone watching me when I’m out walking would wonder at my strangely staccato progress. I’ll quite often stop suddenly, sometimes in mid-stride, and look straight up – or sometimes turn around and look behind me. I can’t even always be sure what makes me do it, but something will have prompted me to, and I have to just stand for a moment, and look. And when I’m looking, I often have to smile to myself when I realise what a slight thing it is that I’m seeing, what an ordinary, commonplace event it is that’s happening – and yet, and yet… matters. It may be something as simple as the colour and shape of a cloud. Or the straight white line of a vapour trail cutting across the empty sky and continuing, like a perfectly drawn stroke of white chalk, behind bare twigs and branches.

Paying attention is what mindfulness is all about, but I’m a lot better at doing it in some circumstances than others. I know I’m not always good at listening, and sometimes in a conversation I’ll be thinking about what I’m going to say next instead of simply listening to what the other person is saying.

Since my post on drawing guinea pigs was Freshly Pressed a lot more people have started following this blog, and I want to say welcome to everyone – I’ll be visiting you all too, as soon as I can (the list is a long one and it’s going to take a while) – and thanks to everyone who has left Likes and comments.

I’ve heard a few people say how much they prefer WordPress to Facebook, and although in some ways they can’t be compared because they are so different, I’d have to say that I agree. I really enjoy WordPress. I love it when someone writes carefully, thoughtfully, with something worth saying, and I love it even more when people respond to each other in the same way. A very, very happy new year, to old friends and to new ones.


“The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”
Henry David Thoreau


9 thoughts on “Paying Attention

  1. WordPress requires a deliberate attempt at communicating with others, often with thoughtful expression and a linguistic flair. This ability and effort alone are more than substantial to warrant a look at one’s blog, as compared to Facebook, where the postings are often brief and extremely frequent.

    Furthermore, a blog is an intentional effort made by an interested reader while Facebook’s postings are often impromptu and made easily available (hence causing viewers to be easily overwhelmed by their friends’ updates).

    The focus on a niche in one’s blogging also bring its own advantages to creating one’s own fan base, I figure.

    And to add on, most of us would like to and frequently take a lesson or two from a blog post, yes? 🙂

  2. But that’s not to say that I don’t use Facebook or that Facebook is not a great social media tool to keep in contact with friends! 🙂

  3. I’m also a person who finds themselves walking around my world in a bit of a bumbling way. When I’m downtown in my city I stop and stare, stop and suddenly turn around to stare at something I think I might have seen 5 paces before, basically there’s a lot of stopping and staring.

    I use both WordPress and Facebook, like I’m assuming most people do. Like you said, they’re so different and it’s hard to really compare them. Facebook has a strong undercurrent of “mindless dribble.” All I ever seem to see on it are over dramatic posts with too much personal information, pictures of babies (I’m not saying this is a problem, per se, but can we limit it? Seeing 4+ pictures of someone’s kid in the same day, every day, is a little overkill), and memes. It’s kind of like a dumbed down, smaller scale Reddit, without the anonymity. The exact opposite of anonymity, actually.

    WordPress, on the other hand, offers a bit more anonymity – if you choose to utilize it. Posts are typically more thought out, but sometimes I don’t always want to write an entire blog on a subject. WordPress requires a lot more time from the user if they really want to keep up with everyone they follow.

    Great blog, glad I found ya!

    1. Actually, a disclosure; I can’t cope with Facebook. It scares me and I find it baffling and can’t understand why everyone seems to think you have to be a part of it. I do have a page, but I never go there as I can’t afford to let it sap all my energy for no discernable positive result. Probably I’m missing the point but I’m an old dinosaur.
      Good luck with your new blog – really like what I’ve read so far! Good to have met you.

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