A tension? Attention!!!

 I can't remember where I parked but it doesn't matter because I can't remember where I left my keys.  Oh, they're in my hand.

I can't remember where I parked but it doesn't matter because I can't remember where I left my keys.  Oh, they're in my hand.

Christine asked me to look for her sunglasses and I reported that they were not in her purse.

Now, in fairness, her purse I've nicknamed the Panamanian Mangrove and ordinarily refuse to go in there for fear of being trapped-to-drown when tide rolls in.  

But this time, there were only like five items total in it.

Including her sunglasses.

This is not my first rodeo.

But like so many times:  I sincerely didn't see them.

Because--as I've learned in some of my readings lately--I wasn't looking for her sunglass Case:  I was looking for her sunglasses.

Plus, I have a lot on my mind, I'm discovering.

Today?  Today was not heavy lifting: get the fab five to girls on the run 5K, find Uncle Nate, don't lose Jack, ooper, walk back to get goTessgo posters from van, walk back, wait; take cam back to van, we forgot SIM card at home, walk back, see them off, find a portapotty because WDM had closed down the restrooms for the season and a thousand people descended after I made and consumed coffee, bought donuts and heavy Duty Vitamin C as it is cold and flu season and the oldest was fighting off something night before last, talk to Jorgie and retired Marine, try to block oldest hearing old retired marine Wow-he-just-said-that, double time it back to the finish line in double double time because our middle was crushing her time and texted my friend about a deal we are chasing, then the other one and then we take the phone pics, pile in, get home, make and eat lunch, get our ladies out the door for a play back downtown for them and remember to get the gift for the youngest bday party tonight but don't forget your oops need to turn around forgot the things you pay with and the chip is fine but slow and no no, let's order CASEYS pizza because the littlest also has a basketball game tonight and we are out of homemade dough makings.

And I managed to pull off a nap and a couple hours of foursquare with the boysies before letting this stream of Saturday out along with some dishes and sweeping and a couple other texts and phone calls and emails and iPhone pics. 

But the nap was for sure cut short because we have a doorbell and our favorite wee visitor loves to use it when our youngest isn't using it, himself.   Usually when you guessed it:  

Im napping.   

There is a classic study on the subject of this attention tension described in Daniel Levitin's THE ORGANIZED MIND.

There is a video that comes from the psychological study on attention by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons.   Because of the processing limits of your attentional system, they essentially prove over and over that we don't see what we are not looking for--at one point in the video where folks have been encouraged to count how may times the players wearing the white tee shirts pass the basketball while ignoring the players in the black tee shirts--a man in a gorilla suit walks into the middle of the action bangs his chest and walks off.  

And most in the study don't see him.  I didn't the first time I saw it.

Because their attentional system is overloaded.

Like mine and like us, here in America, almost every minute of every hour of every day when we are not aware or on the lookout.  And it is stressful and subconsciously, we feel like we are missing something--because we are.

A lot of instances of losing and misplacing and not remembering or finding things, Levitin suggests, is nothing more than our attentional systems being over-taxed.

Which brings me to Brenna Manning, who reminded me in ABBAS CHILD the other night that "the agnosticism of inattention"--the lack of personal discipline over media bombardment, shallow reading, sterile conversation, perfunctory prayer and subjugation of the senses--the awareness of the Risen Christ grows dim."

Whoa, wait:  "--the awareness of the Risen Christ grows dim.."

We struggle with our a where-ness?   I can't tell you how many times I've forgotten where I parked while I was on the phone heading in for a stroll at Jordan Creek.  Thank goodness I can still hear when I set off the alarm to find it!  Gang, we are becoming painfully distracted.  

It s attention's tension.

Brennan continues, "Just as the failure to be attentive undermines love, confidence, and communion in a human relationship,  so inattention to my true self hidden with christ in God obscures awareness of the Divine relationship."

There is a tension, though, isn't there?  We have a lot on our minds--as I alluded to in a previous post, something like 35,000 decisions a day.  

My attention is often divided between this and that and that and that's this and this' that before we talk about attention deficit disorder, which is sometimes I'm simply not paying enough attention to my own because I have't enough attention left.

In the realm of the Center for Relational Care, attention is all about entering another's world. And we are so often, anymore, if we are not careful to just purposefully slow down:  just barely in the present of our own world.

The danger of not slowing down our minds on purpose is reaching epidemic proportion.  Even just a few minutes an hour to breathe in where we are:  and Whose.

Breatjing deeply, being filled with His inspiration and praying something like "Lord, I'm slowing down right now just to be with You," ever-helps--if I can focus long enough and remember in this land of forgetfulness to just do it.