Thinking Through A Lens

There are times that I take a photograph when I don’t understand what I’m thinking until later, when I’m looking at the shot. It’s only then that I catch hold of what’s going on, and even then I often can’t put into words what it is I’m thinking – although I know the thought is there, sometimes deeply layered and full of nuances, laced with sensation. It is a thought. 

Or is it?

When it all happens too quickly, and isn’t in the form of words, is this thinking or is it something else?

Sometimes it feels more like dreaming…

Just as there are dreams that you don’t want to describe in words, because the telling of them would diminish their meaning, there are images that should speak without words.

Or so I think….

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7 thoughts on “Thinking Through A Lens

  1. I feel the same often with a drawing. Its not till its finished and I can step back, I look at it and think ‘Oh, THAT’S what it was about!’ So many things happening in our brains that we don’t know ourselves.

    1. Strange feeling isn’t it? I’m convinced that this is important though, that we pay careful attention to things we know without recognising how we know them, because we ‘know’ in ways that are deeper and broader and more subtle than we can describe in words. I’m glad this made sense to you!

  2. I’ve always been interested in non-verbal thinking and production. I believe it often captures those thoughts and emotions that can’t be put into words – or maybe shouldn’t be. Your post reminded me of that.

    1. I’m interested in it because I obviously do a lot of it (we all do) but I’m not good at recognising it or valuing it or learning from it. Or giving it enough space to prosper. I’m all too quick to smother its sparks with a blanket of words!

      1. Western culture doesn’t value visual thinking or production much: I think people who show talent in this area often get the message pretty early from parents and teachers that words are more important than images. On the other hand, Chinese and Japanese cultures, and a number of Indigenous cultures, are very supportive of people who communicate their thoughts visually. Go figure.

  3. whether it is thoughts or words or something else, these images captured what I was feeling, in a different body and many thousands of miles away from that rusted metal, those cobwebs, that camera lens. another of the everyday miracles I often miss. thanks for the reminder that the world, and us moving through it, are infinitely more mysterious than we admit or notice on ordinary days

    1. I know that you notice this mysteriousness more than most, and often. And I note once again the mysterious connection of feeling, across thousands of miles. How very good to hear from you!

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