revisited: is attention the beginning of devotion??

I was having dinner with friends a couple of weeks ago and they brought up my blog post about on attention and devotion.

Is attention the beginning of devotion?” they asked. I had never really doubted the truth of Mary Oliver’s words because they resonated so deeply within me. I fumbled my way through examples which I thought illustrated that attention is the beginning of devotion…but did not feel like I did my stance justice.

A week later I was in the car with my Dad. As the car started to move there was a beeping signal to indicate that the driver had not fastened their seatbelt.

“Do you know how many times that will beep if you do not fasten your seatbelt?” he asked. I guessed that it would continue to beep for the entire trip.

“One hundred times.” he replied.

“You counted?”

“Yes, I wanted to know.”

And that is it. Attention can transform the mundane (or in this case– annoying) into curiosity. Instead of a block on our path to enjoyment, it is the path to enjoyment. It starts first with noticing, then asking, then listening.