Image to Imagination: Pen Pal Letter #4

seeing things for what they are

To Whom It May Concern:

A picture is worth a thousand words, and I usually record a few hundred of them.

I am never more inspired to write than when I’m looking at things. And by that, I mean really seeing things for what they are. Seeing the longing on the faces of those strangers whose paths I cross on the sidewalk. Seeing the rain speckling my window and the way the blinds divide up that view. Seeing the stardust cascading to the ground as a meteor shoots overhead.

Okay, not all of those sights are true.

I would not claim to be a visual person. Sounds are far more likely to catch my attention than sights, but they don’t inspire me to write the way that images do. So much so that two pen pal letters in a row are all about pictures.

I was scrolling through Pexels once again this morning, and poetic snippets kept coming to me one after another. These snippets have yet to be fleshed out into full poems and there is no guarantee that the final poems that build themselves around those words, phrases, and lines will have anything to do with the pictures that originally inspired them, but they have their roots in those images nonetheless.

I went to an art museum yesterday. I didn’t go there for the art, I went for an event that they were having, but I stayed to look at some of the art anyway. Just three rooms total. I definitely would have liked to see more, but I was so tired or under-caffeinated or both and I really could not see myself being able to give the art the attention that it deserved.

So I left. Got some food. Came home. Spent a tired evening on the couch. And I finally went to bed.

Today, I woke up and found myself inspired by images, but none of that inspiration can fully make up for what I missed out on yesterday. What I miss out on every day when I am too tired or inattentive to really see the world around me.

What I write will never be complete, but then again, neither will any photograph. I can’t see the eyes light up and soften. A video isn’t really complete either. I can’t touch or taste or smell. Nor is an in-person view. I can never know the whole story.

But that doesn’t mean that these things are not worth capturing and worth saving.

I am but a saver of sights. And words are my medium.

Wishing you all the best.

Sincerely,

-Joy


photo by me

6 thoughts on “Image to Imagination: Pen Pal Letter #4”

  1. I love that the poem wreaks with ennui. Even the opening of the epistle, “to whom it may concern,” reckons something I struggle with that is like the ennui that Baudelaire struggled with in finding a captive audience. As we dehumanize, as culture further degrades and cheapens, I love how even the galleries we might visit shrink, reflect lower quality, and leave us longing for something more; it speaks somehow to creatives’ souls no matter the medium. However, this poem may not be a reflection of that, and may only be whatI see in it, but it simultaneously saddened and helped let go of some creative angst if you will. So thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find it very interesting that you read all of that into the opening. While I don’t personally view this piece as a poem nor as something filled with angst, that’s a call I can only really make in terms of how it is categorized and tagged on my website. Though all the writing on here belongs to me in the sense that I can leave it, update it, or even delete it, the interpretations belong to the readers. Thank you for your thoughts.

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  2. Well said and so true. Love it. To me, the essence of writing is seeing beyond what is presented to you and doing that story, fact or fiction, no matter. What does a particular image strike within you? What is the backstory that is that image? or that scene? or that person you see in the parking lot? or the two old men playing chess in the park? It’s up to you to tell that story.

    Liked by 1 person

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