Writing is a practice of attention.
These days, whenever I ask a colleague or a friend the simple question, “How are you?” the answer inevitably arrives as one terse word: busy. And they are busy: with work, with deadlines, with family, and with errands that seem to multiply rather than abate. As I let them go on their busy ways, I can feel my own busyness fluttering up in response; I rush to type in one more thing on my smartphone app’s to-do list. As I do so, I’m barely aware that my breathing has become more shallow and rapid, and my shoulders have begun to creep up to my ears.
And throughout all this, the news keeps jutting into my line of sight. My neck begins to tense, my head ...