Sunday, February 15, 2015
Looking on the Bright Side
I've read recently that our brains are hardwired to focus on negativity, a throwback to the olden days when we needed to pay more attention to the sabertooth tiger gaining on us than the pretty flower growing at our feet. Unfortunately, that tendency still haunts us today, and it's easy to get mired in the gloom and doom when there are all kinds of fabulous things going on around us all the time.
My sister, Lynn, coauthor of this blog, brought the appreciation of found beauty to an art form through photographs of everyday objects and events years ago when she first started blogging. After she moved to Scotland a few months ago, and I was floundering after abandoning my music career, we decided it was time to remind ourselves to focus on all the beauty – or quirkiness, or humor – that is in front of us all the time. And by focus, I mean literally: capture it photographically.
I have already started to look at things in a different way. Take, for instance, this charming Goldfinch. He, like many of his avian brethren, mistook one of our large windows for a continuation of sky. This kind of miscalculation often stuns the poor bird into immobility for a short time, as it did with this one. Occasionally the result is more calamitous and the bird doesn't recover from the collision. These window strikes cause me no end of anxiety, and I expend a fair bit of brain power trying to come up with ways to prevent them short of boarding up the windows. Obviously, I haven't been able to come up with a foolproof solution…yet.
In the meantime, though, I am trying to think less about the horrible irony of having large windows for bird-watching that cause harm to the birds, and appreciate the rare opportunity to cup a small, feathered being in my hands during a moment of stillness. And, now, to take a few photos while time seems suspended, before the bird comes to its senses and flies off.