Paying Attention to the Space In Between

Focused attention isn’t always a matter of life or death—but when we can bring exactly what we’re experiencing into focus, we might surprise ourselves with what’s revealed.

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I honestly don’t know how to tell you this story. If we were having coffee together I would say: So, I almost died the other day. Or: Did I tell you about how a ladder almost took me out on the way to Windsor Junction last week? And it is a story about almost dying. And it is definitely a story about a close encounter with a flying ladder. But if we were in person together I would tell you this story almost wryly, I would tell it to you with a sense of wonder, a sense of: This is the craziest thing that’s ever happened to me. I would tell it a bit funny and a bit surface. Because the page is where I meet myself best, I’m writing about it—to share the story, and to unpack it a little for myself, too.

And that’s mainly because something happened the day that ladder almost took me out on the beautiful, winding, two-lane Cobequid Road—something happened that I don’t totally understand yet.

My therapist reframed it from a “near-death experience” to a “life-affirming experience.” My meditation teacher offers it was “an extremely wise moment.” My friend Waub, who was in…


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About the author

Stephanie Domet

Stephanie Domet is the author of two novels and a nonfiction book for middle grade readers. She’s the cofounder of the AfterWords Literary Festival and a contributing editor for Mindful. She lives in Kjipuktuk/Halifax, where she is, indeed, grateful to be alive, in the best way.