Life is looking up

When I was going through the worst of my depression, I seemed to spend a lot of time looking down.

I’d be walking along hunched over, staring at the floor, feeling smaller than my real height. My head seemed to be bowed a lot of the time. It was heavy, dragged down by the weight of my intensely negative thoughts. Staring at the floor is useful for avoiding dog poo and falling down holes, but beyond that it doesn’t have much going for it.

Looking up, on the other hand, can be a rewarding and glorious experience. Sun, moon, clouds, stars, sunsets, rainbows, birds, bats, treetops – you don’t see any of those things by staring at the ground. It can feel like a big effort to lift your head in the darkest times, but there’s a world up there to lift your spirits, however fleetingly.

On my favourite album – The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society – there’s a song by my favourite songwriter, Ray Davies, called Big Sky, and it sums up rather nicely what I’m saying:

And when I feel

That the world’s too much for me

I think of the big sky

And nothing matters much to me

Another wise man, David Lindo (also known as the Urban Birder), lists ‘look up’ as his number one birding tip. You never know what might be flying over. This week I’ve watched a heron and two buzzards flying over while I’ve been stuck in traffic on the way to work.

I try to get out for a walk as often as possible now, and looking up is a big part of the pleasure I get from doing so. I also find inspiration in the sky for photos and often stop to point my mobile up in the air (it does have a camera – I’m not just thrusting a phone skywards).

Here are some of the pictures I’ve taken this year by doing just that. Why not lift up your eyes to the uplifting skies and let the light in?

Homestead Lawn Feb 2013 (1) IMG_0023 IMG_0030 IMG_0034 IMG_0120 IMG_0131 sun and cloud wheel IMG_0133 IMG_0137 IMG_0268 IMG_0274 IMG_0284 IMG_0293 IMG_0061

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7 Comments on “Life is looking up”

  1. Brian Wood says:

    Love the pictures. Reached crisis point whilst away on holiday in Portugal with my wife and realized I was on the brink of losing everything because of the way I was behaving. Don’t know how brain chemistry works but this triggered a desire to fight the depression. So far so good. I have managed to step back from my anger and resist any indulgence in tearfulness and crying (though I still get over emotional). Isn’t it good when you find a way to fight back!

  2. Ruth Kirk says:

    Paul, that’s so beautiful – and true! Plus, you should have heard me gasping aloud as I took in each of your wonderful photos. Thank you so much. With love and very best wishes, from Ruth XXXXXXXX

  3. Pam Macnaughton says:

    Love the words, and love the pictures. Thanks Paul

  4. […] get lost in your thoughts and pay no attention to what’s happening around you. I’ve found that looking up at the sky is a rewarding alternative. It somehow helps to give me a little perspective. I like to […]


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