What Do You See?

Walking in the woods nearby a few months ago I came across this:

Branch or SnakeAt first, I must admit my brain thought it was a large snake. However, within seconds I reassessed that thought and came to the conclusion it was a tree branch.

Then not long ago I came across this whilst walking in some woods in Scotland:

tree trunk or seatWhat do you make of this? Is it just a chopped down tree trunk, or is it a bench?

Makes you wonder how our brains are constantly assessing, filtering and labelling what we see in the world.

And that really everything we see is our own perception of reality, not necessarily reality itself. Simply put, where one person sees a snake and danger, another sees a tree branch and safety.

The same applies to art. What we see in a painting is our own perception of that painting. We can recognise shapes and label them as things, for example, a round shape can be an apple. But what if you never learnt that that particular shape was an apple, but an orange instead?

Who would be right in this instance?

There is no right and wrong in art and creativity. What there is is our interpretation, understanding and perception – based on learnings from society, culture, family, friends, inner knowing and so forth. We are each an unique individual.

Going back to the first image above and bearing in mind what I’ve just written, I think I’ll stick to my initial thought and say it’s a snake. And why not? It makes my “reality” more fun!

How do you see things in the world around you? How can you look at things differently? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.


4 thoughts on “What Do You See?”

  • Congrats on getting your blog reignited…I think we see more clearly when we can get out of our head…quiet our mind…yes, I like to think I see the snake, too. I love seeing snakes…they are a symbol of transformation and new beginnings…many blessings on your new journey.

    • Thanks e’Layne! Yes our heads can get in the way, that’s for sure.

      It’s then appropriate for the snake to be featured in my ‘first’ post back again, here’s to transformation and new beginnings for us all!

  • This reminds me of a wonderful Peanuts comic strip, by Charles M. Schulz, where the characters are looking at clouds and seeing different things in them. Looking for it to share with you, I found it in a musical version online – Charlie Brown keeps getting interrupted. Lots of things to see, when you let your imagination roam! Here’s the link – I think you’ll get a kick out of it: http://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/File:06_Clouds_-_Snoopy_The_Musical

    • What a great little video, thanks Karen! Yes definitely lots to see when you let your imagination roam. By the way, I love looking at clouds and seeing different things in them. It’s a good point about imagination, a word I didn’t mention in my post, so thank you for saying it!

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