Astrophysicist and author Mario Livio closes his book Why?: What Makes Us Curious with this, “They say that curiosity is contagious. If that’s true, my advice would be: Let’s turn it into an epidemic.” Think of Karen Ward as a contagion vector.
Listen to Choose to be Curious #40: #mycuriouseyes with Karen Ward.
The 1950s ad man Leo Burnett once wrote, “Curiosity about life in all of its aspects…is still the secret of great creative people.” I found myself leaning into the question of creativity — and the inspiration that sparks it — in this “Curiosity to Go” segment with Karen Ward and musician AJ Smith.
Listen to Curiosity to Go, Ep. 13: It Started with a Spark
That was the inspiration. I asked myself,”What if a group of people around the world got together for a week and shared their lives, through their eyes?”
It wasn’t about the artistry of the pictures. It wasn’t about the profundity of the prose. It wasn’t about anything other than noticing. For ten days, I kept the prompts in mind and wandered about, camera in hand, capturing what caught my eye. (I confess, I had a whole collection of pictures from inspiration I found in the shower — although those required me coming back with said camera.) It was an eclectic selection.
Karen Ward’s invitation to spend a little time each day being curious about how a handful of words — color, shape, texture, pattern — showed up in my day was like taking a staycation. Tourist-like, I regarded my surroundings with new interest. I inspected the unexpected. I marveled at the beauty I found in the every-day. I paid attention.
When we choose to be curious, when we open ourselves to the sights and delights of what’s around us, we literally see our world in a new way. What a gift.
I hope you’ll join me for Karen’s next round of #mycuriouseyes, starting soon on social media near you.
Click on any image to start a slideshow and to read about the image and its inspiration.
I’m delighted to be participating in #MyCuriousEyes challenge. Ten days of being just a little more curious. Today’s focus: something that interests us… This morning I was drawn by the surprising depth and patterns of light and dark on my shower curtain. I was interested to see the differences distance and angle made to what I was seeing. (You have to picture me, post-shower, back in the tub, camera in hand, taking pictures from every imaginable perspective….) I love the oddly cosmic, outer space quality of this very utilitarian, down-home accessory.
Day 2: Color #MyCuriousEyes The world was a technicolor splendor as my eyes were caught by the pink sweater headed to work, the green sneakers out for a run, the vibrant orange vests providing constructive protection and the yellow hieroglyphs sprayed across the asphalt, but ultimately I was most drawn to the quiet palette of rusting paint cans lining my driveway.
#mycuriouseyes Day 3: Shape I began the day playing with all our language around shape: shapely, in shape, out of shape, shape up, ship shape, shape shift… But then my thoughts took a philosophic turn. How defining is shape? How determinist? At what point is something no longer what it was simply by changing shape? This is no longer “in the shape” of a tree. Is it still a tree? #justwondering #choosetobecurious
#mycuriouseyes Day 4: Texture True confession: I’ve found myself focusing on our daily theme while I shower – that site of so much fabled inspiration. This shot made me chuckle. I give you a peek at Texture.
#mycuriouseyes Day 5: Light & Shadow I went into the day with Robert Louis Stevenson, Emily Dickinson and Shel Silverstein for company and was immediately rewarded by the play of light and shadows as I dipped in for a morning swim. Here’s what I love about shadows: they are utterly dependent on two independent others: light and … something. And while their form is entirely predictable given the relationship of those things, it is often surprising.
I’ve been enjoying the diversion of #mycuriouseyes this week. The sky today seemed to capture all five themes thus far: interest, color, shape, texture and shadow. I am trying to think of what has unfolded in #Charlottesville as the desperate, dying gasp of something heinous, old and ugly; needing to believe the shape and colors and textures of things to come will step out from those shadows and into the light.
#mycuriouseyes Day 7: Pattern As I waited to meet a friend in DC, looking one direction I found this fabulous mix of patterns in both form and function. Looking the other, I watched as a tourism officer repeatedly greeted every group emerging bewilderedly from the Metro with a uniformly cheerful, “Can I give you directions somewhere?” It was another sort of pattern in both form and function. Made me smile!
#mycuriouseyes Day 8: Moments. It was a busy day, and I knew it would be as I raced to meet my walking partner by 6:40 this morning. On the way, I took a #moment to appreciate the latest blossoms along a neighbor’s fence. Moments of gratitude feel like free hours in a day – time slows, colors brighten, everything lightens.
To participate in an upcoming #mycuriouseyes project, visit CuriosityGlobal.com.
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