Participating, again, in Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. This week’s prompt? Focus. Here goes:

The microscope, purchased in the name of homeschool biology more than a decade ago, worked well.  I collected pond cultures, made slides, viewed them under the microscope. Focusing was the challenge: the large handles and the small handles had to work together to bring the focus, and even then, it didn’t last long.  Because the things on my slides were alive.

I’d have a few seconds of clear view, and then the little glass-like creature would wriggle or tumble out of sight, and I’d be left with a blur.

I’ve long ago left behind the microscope, but life feels a lot like that, sometimes. You move the slide up and down, carefully switch to greater and greater magnification, make hair’s-breadth adjustments, and, for a few seconds, you see something clearly — with only one strained eye, most likely.

It’s amazing how exciting those few seconds of clear-sightedness can be.  How you feel that you finally have life figured out, when in reality it is only a microscopic bit of life, and only for an instant.

In the time it takes to celebrate seeing, life gets out of focus once again, things blur beneath the lens. You work hard to remember the clear view.

The funny thing is, all you have to do is lift your face from the microscope to see clearly. The world, without that extreme magnification, has clean lines, order, doesn’t blur.

Sometimes, close examination hinders rather than helps. It would be hard to walk while looking through a microscope.

4 thoughts on “Five-Minute Friday: Focus

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