Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Paying attention

When we trained our Puli with a trainer (for all the good that did!) one of the things we learned to do was jerk on his choke collar (which, in his case, is made of metal) and say, loudly and with disapproval "Pay Attention!"

Which, according to Bern, I don't do.

Most recent (of many) example: last week she changed all the drapes in our kitchen--all 3 big windows--but the new drapes, like the old, didn't match. So, I didn't notice the new drapes, which, once she pointed it out to me I could see were all different colors and patterns than before. But, in my defense, none of them matched and none of the previous drapes did. I'm a 'forest' guy, not a 'tree' guy. I didn't notice they were new because what I noticed was that they didn't match.

Bern rearranges furniture all the time. Do I notice? Well, after a few days I do.

Bern contends that I would do better with a choke collar and someone saying "Pay Attention!!!"

Maybe so.

Sunday afternoon, sitting at a concert at St. Andrew's in Northford--a great, great concert by the way--I noticed on the walls beside the chancel a big-ass American flag and an equally big-ass Episcopal Church flag. So, I've been serving there for...(another thing Bern points out is that like Billy Pilgrim I am lost when it comes to linear time)...a couple of years--between 4 and 1, that much I know, I'd never seen those flags.

I asked a couple of members of the congregation if the flags had been put up for the concert and knew before they answered that the flags had been there for years and I simply hadn't noticed.

I tried to come up with justifications to why I'd never noticed the flags...(I sit in the chancel and now in the pews, on the Processional hymn when we move down the aisle toward them, I'm singing, not looking....during the peace I'm interested in the people, not the wall....) all of which are 'justifications' pure and simple for why I don't Pay Attention!

I don't think it reaches the level of a character flaw, but it is an interesting observation. I AN focused on people rather than surroundings and am always aware of body language and tone of voice and attitude of folks (which I can't 'turn off' and is a tad annoying in a grocery store when I'm taking the emotional temperature of everyone I pass) but I am, I must admit, often oblivious of my surroundings. I have no explanation--just like I don't know why I can't place events in linear time with accuracy.

But I don't wear a watch, probably because I can't be troubled to know what time something happens...

(To my credit, I did notice the choir pews and the lectern were gone from the chancel for the concert so the Yale Camerada's chorus, 32 of them, could stand there....Give me a little credit at least....)

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.