Turn Off to Tune In

Frog IMG_9311

Daily Prompt: When was the last time a movie, a book, or a television show left you cold despite all your friends (and/or all the critics) raving about it? What was it that made you go against the critical consensus?

About 10 years ago I began to shift away from mindless television and fictionalized or glamorized violence of any kind. I stopped watching the ‘news’ first. It makes me sound prudish and elitist, I know, but I’m okay with that.

You’re probably expecting me to tell you now that I’m one of those people who doesn’t own a TV. I still do. And I still watch it, but not often.

At some point I woke up. At some point I realized that everything I was allowing in through my senses affected not only my attitude but my physical being. Maybe it was an amazing book I read, a seminar, a comment overheard. I can’t say when it happened or even why, except that I woke up. And once I knew what I was doing to myself, I made different choices.

When I let go of the need for water cooler banter and chose to turn my attention to talking about expansive ideas and working on how I could become a better person in this world, a better steward of the earth and at the very least do no harm, everything shifted.

I went outside.

I looked up.

I found enchantment in the clouds – we have great clouds in Florida. The praying mantis eating a dragonfly or a spider catching a fly provided drama and a little violence. Birds are actually quite comical. And strangers are always in the midst of some love story. Overhearing snippets of conversation became  fodder for my imagination; creating lives and turmoil and surprises for these characters I was free to develop.

As I wandered with my camera, magic appeared in front of me. Every time. Hawks would pose patiently on low branches so I could snap their portrait before they flew off to capture their morning meal. Butterflies and bees slowed down as they worked flowers, it seemed just for me. Deer made sustained eye contact before returning to their foraging or bounding into the forest.

I’m sure this was always the case. The only thing that has changed is the observer. Me.

While I appreciate the opinions of others and on occasion I will take the advice of a friend and watch a show, read a book or go to the movies, I am more likely found squatting next to a tree to get a closer look at a baby frog.

This is the direction in which my preferences run. That’s just me. But then, it’s all a matter of taste.

[Photo: Taken at the Merrit Island Refuge in Merrit Island, Florida. He’s about the size of my thumb nail. Maybe. Photo credit: Me, Allison L Andersen]

2 thoughts on “Turn Off to Tune In

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