By Nadia Hammoud
Pin them down:
At times, inspiring ideas will randomly and unwillingly invade the brain. In these instances, the aim becomes less about finding the right conditions to cultivate an idea, and more about trying to grapple with an assault of inspiration. Proposals run riot in every corner of the skull. Your mission: to pin them all down.
We live in a fast-paced world where we are constantly encouraged to compete with the next person. At the same time we also struggle with our own ideals, trying to live up to where we think we should be in two/five/fifteen years from now. We hurriedly tick-off to-do’s on our achievements checklist. We want to get ahead, and fast.
Even when holidaying in order to get away from the above anxiety-inducing scenario, many find it difficult to switch off and slow down. Swarms of snap-happy tourists hurriedly photograph grand monuments, again ticking off checklists, rushing past. In doing so they fail to really take in the beauty, grandeur and amazingly crafted detail that these sights have to offer. Sightseeing, gallery-going, museum-visiting, etc. can, and should be, borderline meditative experiences.
“There are some things that make us feel small because they are so large, and they have within them a kind of sublime quality, which means our ego is stilled in front of something huge, dignified, and beautiful.” Alain de Botton, Art as Therapy
Slow down. Release yourself from the mentality of the daily-grind, and allow grand structures and works of art to fill you with awe, astonishment and wonder. Just imagine the positive societal change that could occur if everyone partook in this simple, livening act of observation.
Without my glasses I see lines, scratches, specks, and patterns magnified in ways that normal-sighted people just can’t experience.
As a child I’d slowly move my hands close to within centimetres of my eyes, and would watch in amazement as they moved into focus, while simultaneously engulfing my entire field of view; The edges of my hands closest to me would gradually transformed from a blur into a cluster of detail that made up a tiny sliver of a larger entity.
Without my glasses, my other senses are heightened; Food tastes twice as delicious; Smells become more potent; My skin feels twice as sensitive.
As silly as this sounds, I truly believe that my love of finding and observing odd details (visual detail in texture, colour, shape, movement, and felt detail in taste and touch) is a result of my literal short-sightedness.
Nobody really wants to see a photograph of Big Ben with your smug face floating around in the foreground.
p.s. your Instagram photos are fooling no one.