I trust my ability to be present now. I wish I was less present in some ways. I’ve learned to be present to the ways of the internet in particular as part of my general capacity with the signs and signals of those who communicate with words. I try not to show up in person too much anymore except for my own neighbors.
My capacity to be present waxes and wanes with the attention that I give to the margin. And I like to be present for the weirdos. I am not as detailed as some with effortful thought pieces but I pay very close attention. I diligently note and revise bigger trends here in public. It’s not my job to endlessly footnote it for everyone. That’s thankfully now in the hands of artificial intelligence.
I trust that I notice things when they need to be noticed and that I will curb my attention away from those who do not use me well. I will so rarely take it personally when someone tells me I do not serve them. The favor is usually returned when I say a hard no but I rarely have to give it. The average isn’t that persistent.
I do not wish to be become significantly more scaled than I am now in terms of presence with people. I am picky and I cultivate my taste and I believe I’ve built trust with the people who intend to build things. I will continue to be as widely available to them as possible if they do even a modicum of homework. My experience is not free but I do not horde it.
I believe I’ve shown my capacity to pick not through momentum or hype but early presence. It’s a long road and I’ve got the patience to walk it for decades more.
I leave you with a thing I noticed today from someone who is very effortful and has been for much longer than me. How we distribute our attention matters even in the most intimate of settings.
Attention without feeling, I began to learn, is only a report. An openness — an empathy — was necessary if the attention was to matterMary Oliver on Molly Malone Cook in “Our World via Maria Popova at Marginalia