In focus ~ one from the archives

balls 002My son gave me a pink stress ball . An entirely appropriate gift from him…  The gel-like stuff is translucent, textured like an orange and looks almost edible. I admit it has a certain addictive quality as I sit and squeeze the thing, staring at the blank page on the screen.

I become aware of being watched and look down to see the small dog, her eyes fixed on the ball in what appears to be consternation. I, after all, am not supposed to play with balls… unless I am throwing them for her. And they should come only in screaming fluorescent shades with a furry texture. I have tried others… they don’t cut it with her. Or at least not until they are the size of a football. Then she’ll make an exception.

On the other hand, you can see it in her eyes… if it is good enough for me….

The infinitesimal movements pass almost unnoticed as she edges closer and closer, her eyes fixed on the ball and the motions of my fingers. You can see the damp nostrils flaring, testing the air. I can’t resist… I read it in her eyes… ““Is it nice, my preciousss? Is it juicy?”

balls 014A head appears on my knee… then one paw… then two, as she wheedles her way in to investigate this new phenomenon. Maybe I should have named her Pandora.

The ball now resides on the little shelf beside the computer screen. The dog, her own ball forgotten, now also apparently resides beside the computer, her eyes fixed on the small object of her current desire, her love affair with the green and furry Ball of Power pushed to the back of her mind as this new ‘toy’ occupies her attention. Every so often she shuffles and sings to it… or to me, demanding the stress ball. She will remain disappointed. She even tried subterfuge, asking to go out and leaping into my chair when I got up to open the door.

balls 009I cannot help seeing in her behaviour a perfect illustration of the way we fix our entire focus on whatever captures our attention, to the exclusion of all else, even those things we believe we treasure as Ani does her tennis ball. It can be a useful trait when it manifests as determination or dedication… or a destructive one when it becomes an overweening desire, an addiction, or a ceding of control. It is a double edged sword that can lead us into desperation and fear.  Yet it can create much that is beautiful, when our gaze is drawn towards wonder and it is this fixed desire that is behind much of what mankind has achieved as artists, thinkers and spiritual beings.

Perhaps the crux of the matter lies not in the passion we have for the thing that draws us, but in the very nature of what it is that we yearn for and the blinkers we are prepared to wear. To fix our attention on things anchors it to the acquisitive pursuit of them, keeping our noses firmly glued to a path we hope is paved with gold… a path that so often leads to despair. We’ve all come across the one whose ambition makes them ruthless… to whom, it seems, the feelings of others matter little in their pursuit of success in the workplace. Even those who use their passion to fuel the creation of beauty can go so far they lose sight of the world around them.

Yet when we fix our eyes on ideals, creating a positive change and dedicate our passion to understanding with Love, mankind is capable of extraordinary things.

balls 003

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
This entry was posted in Dogs, Humour, Life, Love and Laughter, Photography, Spirituality and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to In focus ~ one from the archives

  1. acflory says:

    It’s interesting to see that we share that single minded focus with other animals too. Sadly, we’re the only ones capable of destroying our world in pursuit of that focus. 😦

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Oh, I know that laser-focused look! 🙂
    Love the ball in the shoe, so cute. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sadje says:

    A good analogy. Just like Ani, we do focus on what we think is our latest love.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. jenanita01 says:

    Looking at your lovely photos of Ani, I found myself wondering when was the last time I wanted something that badly…


  5. Jennie says:

    Aww… ❤️


  6. quiall says:

    She will find a way! Excellent post.


  7. Alli Templeton says:

    Oh bless her! She’s so adorable and she’s desperate for that ball! I can forsee a certain pink Christmas present for Ani. You’re right about the focus though. It can bring about some amazing things. Splendidly observed. 🙂


  8. She is so gorgeous, and those eyes, so expressive. I have two looking at me having some cheese on my plate which she thinks has her name on it…… it does and she knows she’ll get it. You can’t help but love them, and the way they bring you ‘gifts’, like the ball in your shoe or for us, a precious ‘baby’ laid gently in our laps..


  9. Divya Sharma says:

    A beautiful analogy. So cute and thoughtful. 😊


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