Part one: This was an experiment. I had a T.V. go out a little over a month ago. My auto response was to run to Best Buy and get a bigger, higher definition, smarter one. I didn’t. Instead, I cut off cable for a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not on some cause to leave a less electronic footprint. Just curious about where my attention lands when there aren’t 500 plus channels, like dogs and cats in the pet store vying for my gaze and adoption.

Part two: I packed up one stack of books last year and donated them to Goodwill. The second stack is waiting on the bottom floor of my townhouse waiting for the same transfer. There are over 100 of them. Today might have been the day. Returning from Florida after a trying and joyous and scary time. Feeling a need to continue to purge and return to simpler.

Part three: Listened to an interview with theoretical physicist, Lisa Randall. Among many things she spoke to, one quote grabbed me. “We often fail to notice things we are not expecting.” This comment, from an author I truly enjoy and think has a beautiful balance of matter and what matters struck me about where I am right now.

Dénouement: Returning from a time in which mortality and meaning hit me in the face, I want even more to be distracted less. I want to slow and notice and not be so programmed into what is expected and miss the things I will ultimately love the most. I read a lot late at night following hospital visits and family time. I wrote. I walked and listened to singer-songwriters who capture these very things.

I returned home to conversation I missed so much, proximity of love, a shared glass, time with friends in celebration of life and birth, to no plans and letting the day carry us where it will.

And on the way out the door this morning for a crisp November ride in the woods, I saw my stack of books. There are passages and titles asking me for a little more attention before they are off to their new home. I wasn’t expecting that.

“To want what I have and to take what I’m given with grace.” ∼ don henley



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