We live in a world full of so many details. Millions of them everywhere. We live lives full of tiny little details, easy to forget. When someone asks me my address, I usually have to pause and think hard for a good second. How are we supposed to keep track of so many things? And more importantly, how are we supposed to remember which ones are important, and which ones are not?
Being distracted is so much easier than paying attention. Mmm, it's like a hit of sugar. We get to lift to the surface to take a big gulp of air. Being distracted is so much easier, yes, but so much less fulfilling. We miss out on so many of the details. We begin to lose touch with how to even pay attention in the first place. How to notice the details, intimately, curiously. Because sometimes life is so painful and overwhelming and the details can drown us. So we skim and we float and stay distracted. We take a hit of social media to numb out. We keep the tv or radio on constantly to avoid silence which invites thinking. We keep our conversations and relationships on surface level. And we miss out on so many of the details but also some of the pain.
Our own personal story's are filled with unique and amazing details. They are one of the most intimate things we can share with one another. Pain in is the details, (absolutely), the details that fill us up and threaten to drown us. The details that build up, and we are forced to bear. Beauty is in the details, the ones that beat our heart and give our life purpose. Most people you will meet in life, just choose to float in the middle. The rest is too unpredictable.
I think I like to write so much, because it gives me a home for all the details. Actually, it's more than like. I need to write so much, because because it gives me a home for all the details. I pay close attention to people and the world. I am insatiably curious. I live life deeply alive. Each day is a roller coaster. I am so happy, so excited, so in awe, so mesmerized, so afraid, so sad, my heart aches so big I can feel pain. It can feel too much and so lonely. It's unbearable. It's beautiful.
Sometimes I am so jealous of the middle coasters. The ones that have the ability to dive down deep into distraction and never ever come out. Sometimes I am so glad to feel so much in a world where it's easier to be numb. Because being alive and feeling and connecting is more important to me than sheltering myself from pain. Because loving my boys so much that it feels like pain sometimes, is the best feeling I've ever known. Becuase the pull of the ocean at your feet- when it sounds like fizzy soda- and a yard full of fire-orange leaves that whirl up into the inviting wind, and the unique patterns when you cut into those purple potatoes- the fact that Greyson's two front teeth are loose and kind of look like Mater, the golden ring around the pupil of Parker's ice blue eyes- all of those kinds of things should be talked about every day. But that isn't safe, so we talk about the weather.
Why are we here on earth if not to feel?
God gave us so many details my friend. They are like personal little gifts of art for us. They wouldn't exist if they weren't important. There's a reason we are all so different, each with different and even the same details that make us up.
The details are everything. The details unpeel the mundane. They shape the way we see the world. They guide how we love others. They demand to be paid attention to.
My goal lately, has been to simply be aware of the details. To breathe in and out and soak up the details. And the first few minutes I am angstly and unsettled, like I should be doing something productive. Something with a beginning and an end. Something like checking my phone mindlessly, looking for a feeling that isn't in there. And then I ease into it. I shed self awareness and focus on them. The splattering colors of life. My breath in the cold air. The crunch of leaves that carpet the ground.
Details from playing at the park...
The details are absolutely everywhere. On purpose, to make you feel.
Many people with autism, are fascinated by details. It's amazing. Their own flickering fingers are artful delight. They watch how the light reflects through their movement.
Sometimes it hurts to notice all the details. Sometimes it feels like too much.
We can take breaks, but we mustn't ever stop paying attention.
Jackets and bare feet.
The slick slide and the sound it makes when rubber shoes strike the surface. The glide down when for just a second, it takes your breath away. The details.
Welcome to the details, for they are your life. Pay attention. It's worth it.