Your Sense of Sight
Everything is new and exciting to children. They see, touch, taste and hear, using all their senses with an exuberance that tires and too often repulses us more knowledgeable adults. They’re exploring and learning with no limits of what is real and what is imagined. To them creativity time is play time.
If you watch a child he will amuse himself by looking at his world over and over again. He is not content with seeing it just as it is however. Children will squint their eyes half shut so they can purposely see things as blurred or they’ll hold their fingers in front of their eyes restricting their sight. They will hold an eye shut and waggle their heads from side to side watching things flip back and forth.
They are seeing the world from a different view than we are. It’s new, different, exciting.
As we grow older we lose this obsession with seeing things in different ways and focus on seeing what is ‘real’. Over time realism becomes so important we can’t see what lies underneath. We virtually become blind to imagining our world any other way but what is in plain view. This is unfortunate since being able to see the world in a different way can be an extraordinary boost to our creativity. A different view can be a refreshing jumpstart for our imaginations.
Children lounge upside down and see the world upside down. A chair is suspended by its legs from the ‘ceiling’; grass is above them, the sky below. This is a new world for them, not like the one they live in.
As adults if we hang ourselves upside down, we will still see the world right side up. Our mind’s eye flips everything to how we think it should be. We can even read upside down writing-and we do it right side up.
We don’t see it as it is but switch it to what we can recognize. We even read it right to left instead of how it is actually written, which is left to right with the y first. That’s because we have conditioned ourselves to see things as we believe they should be and not how they are presented to us.
We have to make a conscious effort to see things as we perceive them, not as we expect them to be. If we take a real look at the word creativity while it’s upside down, it looks especially strange to us and holds no meaning whatsoever, until we let our imaginations take over. Have another look.
I like the little dots from the i’s dangling on their own as if the rest of the i was so startled it left them behind. The r has sprouted genie slippers and is running from the c who has turned into a gaping mouth trying to eat him.
It takes only a bit of practice to see things freely, mostly we have to realize we are unconsciously changing the way we see things, making them fit our idea of normal and right. Once we can see things as they are presented to us, even if they are distorted beyond what we could readily recognize, we are well on our way to imagining creatively.
Seeing things upside down is only a small portion of how you can use your sense of sight as a creative tool to get your imagination working. Seeing things from the side, from underneath, with most of it covered, just parts covered, through different colored lenses, or even through substances such as water and fog gives us different views that are virtually endless. What ideas we derive from them to use in our creativity depends on how freely we allow ourselves to see them.