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February 2014
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Focusing

I put the cup of hot milk down in front of Gleek along with the can of hot cocoa mix. She looked up from her book and her face lit up.
“Thanks Mom!”
“You’re welcome, but there is one condition. I need to take a picture of it all mixed up before you drink it.”
Gleek’s forehead crinkled. “Okaaay.”

She dumped and stirred. Some of the powder slopped onto the table, adding to the spill that was already there from yesterday’s hot chocolate. Vigorous stirring added a little bit more. When she was done stirring, I lifted the cup and started arranging it so that both cup and spill were in the frame.

“What are you doing?” Patch asked, attracted by the unusual request I’d made of Gleek.
“Are you taking a picture of my spill? I meant to clean it up, but I forgot.”
“Yes.” I said. “Your spill is part of the pictures.”
“Why are you taking pictures of spills?” Patch asked.
“I want to write a blog post and I need pictures for it.” I said.
“About what?” Asked Gleek.
“I want to make a point and I think pictures will do a better job than words. So I’ll show you when I’m done.”

Gleek hovered, making sure nothing bad happened to her hot chocolate. She helped make the camera cooperate by placing her finger where I wanted the auto focus to aim. I took several shots both with and without the flash. They weren’t perfect, but they would do. And Gleek was ready to claim her treat.

“Here kids, come see.” I said and I showed them the pictures on the camera.

In this first shot, you can clearly see the spill, but the hot chocolate is blurry.

The second shot changes the point of focus for the camera. The hot chocolate is clear(er) and the spill has gone all fuzzy.

Both shots contain the spill and the delicious hot chocolate. Focus doesn’t change what is in the picture, but it makes a world of difference in what I see. I have been focusing too much on the spills and messes in my life and not enough on the good things. Life is always messy, it is up to me to find enjoyment in it anyway.

“Ah!” the kids said, enlightened.
“Can I have hot chocolate too?” Patch asked.
“Of course.” I answered “And when you’re done, will you two please clean up the spill?”
They nodded and the day was a little better than before.

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