Small is Big

To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour. …
William Blake

This moment this love comes to rest in me, many beings in one being.
In one wheat grain a thousand sheaf stacks.
Inside the needle’s eye a turning night of stars.

-Rumi

I like small things. I like taking a tiny thing or a part of a thing and pulling it out of context so that the tiny becomes huge and prominent instead of insignificant or easily missed. I’m not great at seeing the big picture, although I can grok big when I look at small. I don’t judge one perspective to be better than the other; I just know where my strength lies.

Better or maybe even best is being willing and able to change focal lengths. Regularly. We all spend too much time looking at things that are what? 12, maybe 15 inches from our faces. Screens, or if you are not a screen person, books. Or maybe you watch tv – not 15 inches but still a screen. You get my point. I think going places that force a different type of looking and seeing is key. I think it is critical to health: mental, emotional, spiritual.

Photos are one thing, words are another. You’d think I’d be a huge fan of haiku, and I am, composing as I drive, fingers tapping out syllables on the steering wheel. I love Rumi’s couplets and quatrains just as much. Tidbits. Verbal tapas.

I work really hard to get to put myself places where I can consume big views. I climb mountains and look out at sweeping vistas –the more the better. But that’s not what I focus on when I want to bring an image home. What I can do is small. I envy and admire those that can capture a panorama well. I stick to abstractions, small things, smaller pieces of things, because that’s where I can see G*d eye to eye. Inside the needle’s eye is where I look for those turning nights of stars. I see them there and my breath catches in my throat.

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