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In Praise of Small Things

The big picture can be overwhelming sometimes.

Sometimes that’s what we see going on in the world, with all it’s mixed up craziness.

Sometimes it’s the scale of our own desires to change things, to paint a picture of a different way.

Sometimes it’s just the frustration we feel at the way we’d like our work to be compared to how it is: matching the way it looks, feels, reads, sounds in our head, in the mind’s eye, in our hearts.

That’s really why I enjoy taking photographs so much. It helps me to shift perspective, to reduce my focus back down again, to what’s small, and unimportant.

Small, and vital, and true.

Female Orange-Tip Butterfly on Dandelion

Great things tend to be undoable things. Whereas small things, lovingly done, are always within our reach ~ David Duncan

~~~

This is a contribution to the mini-series on perfectionism.

The photo is of a female orange-tip butterfly that I found pretty much by accident while taking a photo of a dandelion at the weekend.

Comments

  1. Alina Popescu
    Twitter: alina_popescu
    says:

    We are so obsessed with the big picture, no wonder it is overwhelming! Small things add up and create big things, but we tend to forget that and don’t celebrate our small accomplishments as we should… Great ideas to start the week with, Joanna!

  2. Jacqui says:

    Thank you for this! The photo is beautiful.
    I love taking photographs to but due to chronic health problems I can’t get out much or go far at the moment. So I took my camera out into the back garden the other day and took close ups of all sort of wild things. It really opened my eyes to the small but beautiful things around me. The big world out there is unmanageable at the moment, but the little, immediate world around me is not only accessible but is quite stunning. So, definitely a shift in perspective for me, and one which has really lifted my spirits! Thank you so much for your post.

  3. Conor Ebbs
    Twitter: ebbstachio
    says:

    Joanna,

    What a stunning photograph. Thank you for the words of wisdom.

    The ‘big picture’ has been overwhelming of late. I’m back to baby steps, small plans, breathing in moments, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.

    Focus can often be as perspective altering as removing the lens.

    Conor

  4. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Alina Popescu, it’s easy to forget isn’t it Alina? But good to remind each other of the distance travelled :-)

    Jacqui: “I took my camera out into the back garden the other day and took close ups of all sort of wild things. It really opened my eyes to the small but beautiful things around me. The big world out there is unmanageable at the moment, but the little, immediate world around me is not only accessible but is quite stunning.”

    I was so so glad to read these words Jacqui. I agree with you, that the small immediate world round about us is not just accessible but stunning, dripping with extraordinary wonder, once we learn or remember to open our eyes and look.

    Conor, I think it depends in part on how we’re wired Conor. Some people are good at getting engrossed in the detail, but sometimes lost there too, and need a reminder to look up. Others are good at taking in the whole big picture, but can then get lost in the scale and size of it, which is when it can help… not least with the breathing… to look back down at the ground