Respecting the Impossible
For Art's Sake Professional Photographer's Challenge
When I hang out with my 3 year old, we do a lot of pretending. A box becomes a car and then instantly turns into a spaceship. We go from a party at her imaginary friend's house into outer space within minutes. She is a doctor that heals her animals simply with a hug and a swipe of her hand.
The lack of limitations she has is what allows her to create such worlds. There is no boundaries of what she has been told is not possible, she has not been let down or disappointed to the point where she doesn't see the possibilities beyond what is right in front of her.
Most of us as adults, are just the opposite. It is not our fault, we have had to learn from our negative experiences in order to survive this long in life. The disappointments and road blocks we have encountered have helped to shape who we are and that is somewhat unavoidable and not entirely bad either. I do believe we grow from the tension in our lives. We develop skills we never knew we could have, we develop persistence, experience hope, faith and mercy. All beautiful things that I would not want a life without.
But what can we do about how it shapes our perception negatively? What can we learn from a 3 year old's game of pretend? What I hope to take from this stage of her life, is the importance if respecting "the impossible". Just because we can't see something, or have not experienced it, doesn't mean it is not real, doesn't mean it is not possible. I think that not only children, but history has taught us this. However we sometimes forget this in our modern world. We have accomplished so much in science, that we forget that there is still more to discover, there are still things we don't know. All around us it is encouraged that the most valuable things are things you can see and touch, things we can buy or sell. What about the world of the unseen, the world of the unknown, the impossible?
What does this mean for us as artists, as creative people? Why is this important for us? To me what it means, is that, when I respect the impossible, it opens up the possibility that I can show the world something they have not seen. Maybe I can even encourage or inspire something that takes someone further than they thought they could go, that they thought was "possible". Too much pressure? Maybe it is just showing someone something beautiful that they have never encountered. The simple beauty of a tree, something that an inner city low income child might not have ever known. Someone that is not a visual person might not see that tree the way you do, unless you show them.
This week's Art's Sake image I wanted to find a way to express this. I chose to show it with a door in the woods, a school desk and some old books. A door in the woods, is a door we want to walk through, we want to see what is on the other side, where it will lead us. What lies on the other side of a door that is not where it "should" be? Maybe we will find something else that "should not be", something that "cannot possibly be". And who is the keeper of that door to the perceived impossible? A child of course. A child and her imagination, her willingness to learn in every moment, and her ability to believe in the "impossible".
I actually have 2 images for this week! I feel that they both express differently what I wanted to say. This next one shows her with her eyes covered, in my eyes, this is her willingness to believe in what she can't see. It also shows that in order to pass through the door you also need to be open to things unseen. :)
Edited with the New Americana Lightroom Presets Available HERE