From a distance

Planet-EarthThere’s a line in a song about how the world looks blue and green from a distance.

I always liked the idea of that. Like the opposite of looking at your face in a magnifying mirror (ye gods what is that devastation?!). We seek more powerful vision and greater detail but it can really get in the way of appreciation.

I notice the same thing happening to me as soon as I stop paying attention. Small details get magnified, I dwell upon them for too long, I over-emphasise how much they matter and their implications. I lose sight of the big picture.

My daughter and I were discussing dreams recently and how sometimes we get very anxious about something quite irrelevant. She had spent hours stuck in a circular dream about bouncy paper. We could easily laugh about it over breakfast but during the night it had been real and distressing.

So however bad things feel, a bit of perspective – the luxury of time, or distance, or a conscious decision to step back, step up, put things in context – can make all the difference. Next time I feel myself getting hooked on a detail, looping back through the same anxiety loop, I’m going to see if I can just get myself to imagine for a minute that it is one thing in a sea of things and see how that feels different. Maybe it will make it easier to breathe and grow.

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