small gratitudes

There’s been a lot written in recent years about the importance of being grateful.

The traditional definition of gratitude is probably focused on the recognition and appreciation for things we receive, or actions that benefit us, particularly when we’ve done nothing to warrant these.

The problem with that idea, though, is that it implies the existence of a benefactor – someone who does something for us, or gives something to us. There are so many things in life to be grateful for and many of them just seem to happen without any external intervention; if you don’t believe in a Higher Power, there’s no one specific to thank. Perhaps the thing to do then, is to convert gratitude into an attitude.
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lies, damned lies and Photoshop

In the first post of the year, I suggested the outlook for the blog was “clear with a touch of Photoshop.” I’m not sure the photos in this post actually live up to that, as the sky is hardly what I’d call clear. Still, they have been manipulated in Photoshop.

In fact, there is only one photo and it’s just been altered to support my theory that how you feel about things has lot to do with your attitude and perspective. Note that I haven’t actually changed the colour levels between the different versions of the photo; all I have done is crop in on different sections.

So, life lessons from parasols:
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a different perspective

I have pointed out on many occasions that looking at things from different angles and perspectives can result in a very different view and understanding of any situation.

I’ve also expressed a tendency to look upwards and be positive about things. But this week I was reminded that sometimes the view is better when you look down on things.

As seen in the picture above, the cathedral in Birmingham was rather spotty viewed through the autumn trees at ground level. But I had the chance to go up to the sixth floor of one of the building in the square and it was definitely a better – and clearer – view.
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the words we use

They say that language shapes our view of the world: if we use sexist and bigoted language, it is difficult to avoid becoming sexist bigots and if we don’t have the words for a concept, we find it hard to understand.

Certainly my own experience of learning a second language revealed a different personality: I was free to say things I could never have said in my native English because the words and the grammar permitted it and because I came fresh to the new language with the opinions and ideas of an adult but with no personal attachment or aversion to the words.
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reflections on perspective

Yesterday I wrote about details and concluded that what you see depends on your perspective. This is not a new topic for this blog: I think I’ve made it clear over the years I’ve been posting that I think we have a lot of choice about which lens we choose to view things through and that Hamlet was right when he said:

there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

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details

Some say that God is in the details. Others say it’s the Devil.

The second version gives me an excuse to use the photo of Epstein’s Michael on the wall of Coventry Cathedral to start this post. It is, after all, rather more difficult to take a photo of God.
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late

“Everything’s late this year,” said my aged mother, when I took her a cup of tea in bed this morning.

I thought that was rather unkind – it was only seven o’clock and who on earth expects their visitors to provide tea in bed before that on a Sunday?

But the theme has continued throughout the morning:
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