Take the test
Do you “see things”? Oops, unfortunate choice of words. Let me rephrase that: do you ever find yourself staring at a detail in the scene you’re in? Does it ever changes into something else as you take a closer look?
Oh, this is not sounding any better is it? OK, bear with me and try this out: take a look at the photo below. What do you see?
If you’ve looked at this and thought to yourself “WT*?”, don’t worry, your reaction is totally normal. I get that all the time from my fellow students!
Take it again!
Take a look at it again… this time think of trees. Can you see the tall pines? What if I said lake or snow? Do you see something different?
For me this is a daily occurrence: a shape, a texture, a shadow catches my eye. I stop, stare and watch it change (sometimes I even turn my head side on…). My natural reaction is to get my camera out to capture the image.
Dare you to share
The moment of truth normally comes when I try to show the picture to others: will they see what I see? Not always. Some still see the picture above for what it really is: mold growing on a rubbish skip.
Sometimes though, they get a little sparkle in their eyes and they see it too! In that moment my imagination and theirs connect and bounce off each other. If we both verbalise what we see, the image turns into a story we build together.
That moment of co-creation is priceless. Growing up with a fun loving mum who constantly made up stories for me helped cancel out my father’s reality-bound influence.
When I can share what I see with someone else, I become that child again, I’m not afraid of being perceived as weird or a bit nutty. I feel free to let my imagination run wild.
Take your imagination for walk
So if you are having one of those days and you don’t have a story-telling parent handy, take the time to look around. If you find yourself distracted by something you see, take the time to stop and look, you won’t regret it!
Don’t be afraid to share what you find with me, or a friend, or someone who happens to be walking by… who knows what amazing story you’ll be able to unveil!