Saturday, May 12, 2012

Gram Parsons, who has nothing to do with the vigilance vs. paying attention debate

(If, with my sketchy memory, I posted Gram Parsons' Return of the Grievous Angel (with Emmylou Harris) a few years ago and don't remember, consider this an encore.  Now I try to have labels for each post.  Who has the patience to look through so many when there are songs to be played?)

A separate topic:

Introduced by Jayne in her comment on the recent "Worry" post, we will look at vigilance, which I have come to believe is not the same as paying attention.  Not the same at all.

Vigilance, or hyper-vigilance, depending on how deep one's wariness runs, is usually a vital coping mechanism, resulting from too many real monsters in too many closets over too many years.  It is an exhausting, unproductive, full-time volunteer job that one can never do well enough to keep the cockroachs from crawling all over the chocolate cream pie.  Paying attention is just what it claims to be: an alert noticing of the world within and without and responding appropriately to its cues.

Jayne mentioned calling her lawyer, severing all ties with vigilance in a legally-binding way.  I like the vision of marshals serving papers on a shirtless, barefoot vigilance at 3:30 some morning.  As my son would say, "ooooh, snap."

This is a first installment of this exploration.  Having devoted what I might once have described as my good years to hyper-vigilance, I know its investigation is not an off-the-top-of-my-head activity.  I wanted to open the door for my own thoughts to wander through and invite others who, like Jayne, have grown weary of watching the horizon for ghost ships.


Erin in Morro Bay said...

I spent 30 years being hyper-vigilant and believe me, the last 10 of not being so has being a joyous gift. To realize that, basically, life is good, and "they" are not all out to get you (just that one extremely psychopathic ex- spouse) is healing, a blessing and a wonderful way to live.

Sherry O'Keefe said...

vigilance leaves me with tense thumbs- the way i keep them tucked into my fists, ever on the alert. but paying attention requires open palms, the becoming open to whatever might come this way.

Jayne said...

Oh Marylinn- I like the way in which your exploring Vigilance. Serving a half naked Vigilance the slip at 3:30 some morning--it's precisely what he deserves!

(After all, he's why we call the doctor and beg for meds.)

Let the thoughts wander, yes!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - The amount of cortisol I've produced over my lifetime to-date as a result of hyper-vigilance is simply too huge to be calculated. I just know its effects. Even moments of freedom, let alone years, help restore some vanished youth and bring welcome peace of mind. Hooray for your gift. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Sherry - That is the difference, isn't it? Waiting for the sword to fall, as opposed to whistling along our way, senses attuned but not wary. Yes, vigilance is a tension-filled calling. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jayne - The thought will, whether I want them to or not, continue to wander. And if vigilance kicks up a fuss, there, at 3:30 a.m., we may get footage of him in the back of a squad car. I think of vigilance as "belt and suspenders" living and I've had more than enough of it. Bring on the "que sera, sera." xo

beth coyote said...

My dog is the vigilant one around here. He barks at NOTHING AT ALL.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Beth - Your dog and I have too much in common. xo