Bigging it up


The Pantheon of Smallness was a way of thinking about smallness differently. Sometimes we make small things, sometimes there are small bird songs, but it can have an enormous impact. Sometimes you have to whisper to be heard. Our culture is very much one of “bigging it up,” always upping the noise level in order to produce a louder signal. What you see in the bird world is sometimes that the smallest tweet can actually pierce through the cacophony in a different way. That became a metaphor for thinking about art. Emily Dickinson did quite miniature work that had a very profound, almost epic, impact, culturally speaking.

~ Kyo Maclear, from How a stressed woman found solace through looking at birds (Macleans, January 22, 2017)

Find Kyo Maclear’s new book on Amazon: Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation

Photo: Thank you Sawsan @ Last Tambourine


  1. ‘I love this’, she whispered.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Def getting this book! Love her writing. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i love all things small, always have. minimal space to have the greatest impact.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The years I spent feeding, watching and photographing birds was filled with great joy. I need to re-evaluate why I stopped.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think more than often truth and sanity are found in the whisper. Wonderful post.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I took a workshop on body language and other behaviours once where they recommended speaking in a lower voice to be heard. Seems counterintuitive, but I was going to meetings where people kept talking over others. I brought it down a few levels and people leaned in to hear what I was saying! ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Reblogged this on Carrie's Bench and commented:
    The smallest of things…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. roseanne333 says:

    It’s all perspective, isn’t it? Love this.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love the word ‘Ameliorative’.
    And how Toronto is a Songbird Superhighway.
    And her thoughts on Sparrows.
    I must read this!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Less is more…..need to practice this more.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great interview! For me it was the poetry of birds…oh, yes.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love making tiny art. There’s a lovely intimacy in needing a lighted magnifier and tweezers for creation.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Reminds me how the bird song has changed ever so slightly over the past week.
    The starlings arrived this morning with the snow.
    Noticing the small things on a snow day is magical 💛

    Liked by 1 person


  1. […] via Bigging it up — Live & Learn […]

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  2. […] The smallest of things… (thank you, David Kanigan) […]

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