It’s not surprising that I see the world differently than most people I know. I think we kind of all feel that way, to be honest. Like no one really ever sees things the way we do. But then again maybe it’s just me. I’m a writer. I’ll admit that how I see the world is a little more fantastical.
Hiding in the Apple Tree
A perfect example of this actually happened this morning, which is what led to me writing this post. I was staring out the window at the apple tree. I wasn’t seeing the tree. I was aware of the tree and aware of the fact that I was looking at the tree. Rather, I was looking into the tree. There he was, smiling back at me. The leaves formed into the shape of a leprechaun’s head. He’s wearing the customary hat (sans buckle) and then I noticed he was wearing an eye patch.
As I focus more on the eye patch, his nose begins to grow. I realize that it’s no longer a leprechaun. It’s Pinocchio. He’s smiling, but he’s not looking directly at me like the leprechaun was. He’s kind of laughing at his own thing. Something I can’t see. Then, the nose and the eye patch (that yes Pinocchio was wearing, too) began to morph together.
The character is no longer recognizable as a specific stereotype. Instead, it’s just some random guy. Only, this guy has a plunger stuck to his eye. I’m thinking he just got clobbered in the face with a plunger and it stuck. But he’s laughing away. This guy is where the story began to emerge.
Now before you think I’m crazy let me just explain one thing. These things that I see are like still frame shots. Photographs. The actions given to them are how my mind perceives the moment. So when I say they were laughing, I mean the shape and form of their features looks like a moment of laughter caught in a picture. Maybe I’m still crazy.
Back to the guy with the plunger. I’m looking at him. He’s got this plunger just stuck to his eye. He should be furious. But he is laughing. If you’ve ever seen someone’s face when they’ve got a good belly laugh going on, picture that. He’s gloriously happy while this plunger just bobs on his face. (can probably thank the breeze or the wildlife for this)
His hat is knocked slightly askew (probably by the plunger that was suctioned over his right eye and still continued to hang on tightly). He’s just laughing away. He’s a comedian. His partner just plungered (writer’s prerogative to make up a word) him. He’s teetering on the edge of the stage, looking like he may fall. He’s a clown with no makeup on. I feel his laughter, the laughter of the crowd. It’s all so contagious.
These are the things that I see
The apple tree isn’t alone. I’ve always been able to paint abstract lines over the world. Create a picture where most just see an object. Stare at the lines in the tile floor until I see a lion and a princess frolicking in a field somewhere. My husband tells me that there are clearly defined lines around every single thing in the world. I’ve never seen these lines. His still frames are just that. Still. Mine, on the other hand, are fluid and ever changing.
My daughter has these roses that she won at a fair years ago. They are made of some kind of soft fabric (like the fur on a stuffed animal meets velvet) and they have a wire in the stem to keep it long and straight.Once, my husband and I put them in a glass vase and painted them.
When I look at my painting, I see Alice in Wonderland roses. I see they’re faces, they’re stems look like legs to me. The leaves could be they’re arms.They seem to be chatting or singing. Perhaps they’re even dancing a little. All of this I didn’t see while looking at the actual roses. Only in my painting.
I see my world as abstract. Ever changing, always fluid, coming to life in my mind. I am abstract. Perhaps one day these things that I see will become characters in a new book. I’ve got the princess and the lion. I’ve got the leprechaun, the wooden boy, and the comedian with a plunger suctioned over his eye. My roses can dance. And somewhere along the way there was a pirate (his flesh rotting a bit) that appeared in the backing left behind when a rug decided to melt and fuse and attempt to become a part of the floor. Maybe it’s time to start writing them down. Each of them with there own little stories. Then build them into beloved characters who can appear time and time again in any story I choose to tell.
I see stories
I’m a writer. It’s not just what I do. I AM a writer. It’s who I am. No matter where I go or what I do out there in the world inside my mind I’m always spinning a story. I had a college English professor that made us keep a journal with us at all times. Once weekly, we were required to just look out at the world and write what we saw. Super simple really. She loved to push the creative juices. She’d play a song for us as we arrived. We were to write our thoughts on the song. Throughout the semester, we’d choose famous paintings to write a story about. We’d interpret what we saw in the painting. Then, we’d put music to our painting, music to our words. These were our assignments.
She took us to the coffee house once. Had us write about our experience there. She took us to the local art studio once. Had us a choose a piece of art. It could be a painting, it could be a statue, it could be a necklace. It just had to be on display and available. We had to photograph the piece. Mine was about a beautiful fountain. She bought the fountain.
I should keep a journal in my purse. I should start writing down the stories that I see all around me again. That’s what this blog is doing for me. It’s getting me writing again. I’m stretching my keyboard and it’s stretching my imagination. Today, I feel like myself again. Thinking up stories, planning ideas, thinking it’s time to work on another book. Now my only problem is deciding which character to play with first.