Ink blots

Much of the reading I have been doing for school relates to how we see things. In particular, I just finished Presence.

Think about the wonder with which children view the world. Everything seems new. Their imagination is active and allows them to “see” beyond what is visible. They easily paint fanciful worlds filled with magical creatures, and have no sense that those things are less real than what the adults around them perceive.

This got me thinking about ink blots – you know, the kind used by psychiatrists. Now I don’t actually know for what the shrink is looking and listening. Let’s suppose though that we were to make use of those ink blots for our own purposes – not simply to determine how one sees now, but to discover new ways of seeing. What if we used ink blots to stretch our imaginations and learn to see (or remember how?) beyond the obviously visible

What if we learned again to look at our world with the eyes of our imagination, what one author has called “the eyes of your heart.”  How might we see the world differently?

What if in each moment we engaged part of our brain and say, “OK, I know what this looks like, but what else could it be?” What new things might we discover? What relationship conflicts might be loosened by our curiosity replacing certainty? How might we learn to appreciate the world, the people around us, and even our own inner voice more by saying, “Huh. That’s different.” and squinting the eye, or tilting the head to the side, seeking another perspective. We might just discover whole new layers of beauty and meaning.

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