“Will the interesting times we are living in lead to a new wave of activism and protest in cinema” was a listener question asked of Danny Boyle, the director of Trainspotting during an interview on my favorite podcast, The Kermode and Mayo Film Review on BBC Radio 5live.
Danny’s answer was “you always hope, if you are in adversity, that it will mobilize you.”
I started this challenge because I recognized, for myself, that MANY forces (people, companies, trends, etc) were combining to make massive financial profit from Captivating my attention. My attention is mine. When the market for attention becomes crowded, what do these forces do? Yell louder and louder until they are all yelling Fire, Fire, Fire all the time.
But my attention is mine and I can put it wherever I choose. I know that there are situations that I can improve by turning my attention towards them. I can improve the lives of people who I meet on a daily basis by giving them my attention. I can search my heart and see the places that I have been wrong in my attention and chance my focus but my attention is mine.
I choose to turn my attention to the local law enforcement because I see that they have power/responsibility that can really impact the lives of people who I meet everyday and I think/hope that my attention will change things. I choose to turn my attention to my friends at St Alban’s, Austin because I see that they/we have power/responsibility that can be so impressive when any bad wind blows rain, pain, and danger across the place where I live or the lives of the people who live there.
The first word of the Rule of St Benedict, a guide for community building that has stood the test of millennia, is Listen. But the word in Latin is Obsculta, which means more than listen, it means drop what you are doing because the bell is ringing that calls you to the Work of God, the work of healing the world. There are clanging bells everywhere, ringing Fire, Fire, Fire, but this is nothing new, not this year, not this century, not this millenia, not since Enlightenment, not since Nativity, not since Ur towered over Sumaria. They/We didn’t start the fire, it was always burning.
My attention is mine. 30 Days is just the beginning of learning to guide it towards the bell that is ringing just for me.