This scene from the movie Lady Bird shows the main character, an angsty teenager eager to get out of high school and get out of town, being called on her supposed disdain for her hometown:
“You clearly love Sacramento.”
“You write about Sacramento so affectionately and with such care.”
“Well, I was just describing it.”
“Well, it comes across as love.”
“Sure, I guess I pay attention.”
“Don’t you think maybe they are the same thing? Love and attention?”
I need to be intentional about giving my full attention to whom and what I love. Too often I have moved through days on a sort of autopilot, with my attention consumed by distractions and trivialities.
We are surrounded by wonders and trudge on by without notice. An occasional pause for reverent astonishment would be a potent tonic.
And maybe I should take note of what I truly pay attention to consistently and see if there are hidden objects of affection I’ve been oblivious to.
In an increasingly distracted world, paying attention is a powerful gift and the ultimate expression of love.