Friday, February 18, 2011

Steal My Attention

(photo by Tabitha Bird)

"In a world that demands attention, it's the little things that steal mine."

It was the end of day that had called my name. Called it long and called it hard. Do you know the day I mean? The one with the music playing so repetitively the lyrics loose their meaning.
That day.
And on that day, at the end of that day, I stole away to a place where the leaves of tree hum the song of twilight. There with my camera I remembered something.
Something little.

Children are the masters of 'seeing little.'
Two Lego bricks are dinosaurs. Stick are swords. Roads made of sheets and pillows are rivers with crocodiles in them. With such imaginations children follow a row of ants and they pick up the rust colored leaves because such things are whole new ways of seeing the world. The ants are friends off to a picnic, or tiny spies sent by a bug army. The leaf is a fairy's hat or a dragon's lunch.

That's when I remembered. Just me and the camera. And the stillness. What a threesome we were, what a grand party, because who should find me but the child I once was.
Inside me she me whispered, "Do you see how the grasshopper bends the blade of grass it sits on? Look at the rock with eye pattern. Touch the speckled feather."

It was that same child who saw the dragonfly. There on a branch above my head.
Sitting. Seeing. Watching me.
Watching me while I was quiet.
Watching me while I found the magic.
Watching me while I remembered how to let a dragonfly steal my attention.

What about you? Life is very loud. What steals your attention?


  1. TB wonderfully written. When you mentioned the ants and seeing the dragonfly in your picture I remember I would spend "all alone" endless hours watching the trails of ants and when they would meet up with one another they would stop and like converse. I was always fascinated with them communicating that way. With the dragonfly, I would catch them when they would stick to the wall by grabbing their wings together. But, then release them.


  2. I have goosebumps! Your writing is ethereal and your inner child alive and well. Love this post!

    I love to watch squirrels at play and hawks soaring on wind currents; my cats sleeping and listening to the conversations of the children in my class....

    mmmmmm......lovely, lovely post :)

  3. Sometimes just the drops of water falling as the snow melts from the roof.

  4. Beautiful. Nostalgic.

    You create incredible art with your words.

  5. I sit for hours watching the Butterflies in my garden.

    Loved your post.

  6. A lovely post.

    I love the sky in the morning, when it's quiet and still outside and the sun is peaking through those still-wintery clouds.

  7. Oh...carried away. You bring the child out. I watch the birds in our yard and our dog, how she rolls on her back feet kicking in the air saying her prayers, giving her thanks.

  8. I think the rebirth of my life came with the attention that accompanies my writing soul. I began to notice every small thing again with appreciation and fascination. It woke me up.

    Love this post.
    ~ Wendy

  9. Tab, I am so grateful I found you. Your comment on my blog today helped immeasurably and this post is exquisite. The way you see the world and the way you describe and tell about it absolutely blows me out of the water.
    Yes, life is very loud. I find it in the stillness.

  10. Tabitha, your words dance across the page, beautiful and eloquent.

    These days my attention is diverted to the children. They keep me at the center of their play. I'm thankful for the chance to watch the world through their eyes for a while:)

  11. Haunting words! When I was younger I would spend hours looking for ladybugs. Don't ask me why. Now, the wind catches my attention--what it moves, how strong or weak it is.

  12. Your camera and you are a perfect pair. Maybe you'll put a book of photography out? Your pictures are so pretty.

    I saw your comment over at Katie's and wanted to agree with you--you project a "real writer" image.

    Have a great weekend!

  13. A wonderful read Tabitha, I feed the squirrels that come into my garden and take delight in watching their antics.


  14. Your words. They steal my attention. They are so good I could drink them.

  15. I have a friend who missed a lunch date a few years back. She said she got distracted. I said, "By what...a bumble bee?" It's been a running joke since. Distraction by bumble bee. But they are magnificent creatures no? Shouldn't even be able to fly with their body mass to wing ration. But fly they do.

    A beautiful write Tabitha!

  16. Sometimes the certain way light hits an object will steal my attention, but mostly it's the ricocheting in my head...

  17. Lately, nature is also stealing my attention. I love the pic and the post. Enjoy your weekend in the stillness, Tab. Love you!

  18. Your pictures complement your writing so beautifully. I love both the dragonfly and your writing.

  19. I love this description of wonder.

    When I was 7 my family moved to a neighborhood with real curbs and gutters. I'll never forget watching the water flow down the gutter and feeling like it was some kind of magic moat.

  20. Beautiful thoughts :)
    Water, flowing over stones. Water crashing down at the beach. ahh

  21. This is absolutely beautiful, Tab. The words you wrote made my eyes jump and laugh. Thank you for this. I needed it. (Down in the dumps today.)

    We must remember to see things as children do. The way God wants us to see everything. I will do that from this day forward. It's bound to help my writing, too.

    My horses galloping through the pasture, because they see me, that steals my attention. :) (((hugs)))

  22. I remember seeing through my child eyes so many years--decades--ago. Sometimes I try to recapture that spirit of thought but the clock ticks and responsibility calls and those are the things that I'm now most aware of. I guess now the closest I come through my inner child visionary is through my writing and reading--but the clock still ticks and I am aware of it.

    Tossing It Out and the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2011

  23. a really nicely written post, Tabitha...

  24. Tabitha, I always like when I bump into the little girl within me. She is so fun, yet so fragile. I feel very protective of her. She has so much to offer and my hope is that she'll become who she's meant to be. Thanks for reminding me of her presence.

  25. Tabitha, loved it all! What strong memories we all share of the natural world! How we personified and constructed stories while fresh air filled our lungs. We were sent out after school each day with that one directive, "Get some fresh air in your lungs!" What we came back inside with was a heart and mind filled with memories, a feast for us all, even now!

  26. Beautiful! Your images are universally accessible- we all are blessed in the exact, perfect way... you have a gift...

  27. This is so true for me too. When I'm out with my camera, time just slows to a crawl and I feel young again. Beautiful picture!