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Deep See Fishing

A prompt to encourage your practice of creativity this week from Riversider and local author Larry Burns.

Do you need a low stress way to include seven minutes of creative contemplation into your week? Consider this your helpful nudge towards a slightly more creative life. If it helps, come back every week for a quick hit of creative contemplation. Each week I’ll share a new nudge. It will include a Thing (T), a Place (P), and a Sense(S) for your focus, a TPS creative nudge.

Last week, we hit the gas pedal to test our creative mettle. I’ve always found I do better with brainstorming and other creative thinking when I’m in motion. What did a few laps around the creative track do for your critical thinking and creativity this week? Maybe you’re like me and recalled a harrowing flat tire fix alongside a busy highway. During your journey, did anyone point out to you the difference between wheels and tires? It happened to me. Even if you just photographed a few tires that escaped their cars to live along the roadside full-time, I hope your quest for tires brought you to a creative destination.

I don’t know about you, but I got tired of all the tire puns rolling around in my head from last week’s focus. I’ll be sure to tread lightly on the puns with this week’s creative nudge: mirrors. It would be too easy to call this a reflective exercise! Instead, let’s go beneath the surface of mirrors to find the qualities that best encourage creative play.

Mirrors are useful tools for self-reflection, instruments of light and illusion, and powerful symbols found in literature and art. Mirrors invite us to see ourselves and the world from new perspectives, challenging us to look at what is revealed or hidden with a little light and our active imaginations. This week, let’s explore the creative potential of mirrors (or any reflective surface), using our sense of sight to invite our inner artist to come out and play:

  1. Mirror Steps: Find a large mirror, cue up your Spotify playlist, and dance, shimmy, or flail about. Notice how the mirror adds a new dimension to your movements, making you more aware of your body and space.
  2. Photo Finishes: Experiment with angles and positions to create interesting photos that include both the reflection and the surrounding environment. You might capture a landscape reflected in a small handheld mirror or create abstract images by positioning multiple mirrors.
  3. Light Throw: My dog loves this one! Create a light show using mirrors to reflect sunlight or artificial light onto different surfaces. Arrange mirrors to bounce light around a room, creating patterns and movements. Embrace the ephemeral and temporary nature of art using light.
  4. Shatter Story: Mirrors often symbolize self-reflection and truth in stories. Write a story inspired by the idea of breaking a mirror. What happens when the reflection is shattered? Does it release hidden truths, unlock a portal to another world, or bring about seven years of bad luck?

As we engage with mirrors this week, let’s appreciate their ability to reflect and transform our perceptions. Mirrors remind us to look beyond the surface and to consider the deeper truths and possibilities that lie within and around us. By incorporating mirrors into our creative practices, we can explore new dimensions of self-awareness and artistic expression.

Feel free to share your mirror-inspired creations on social media and tag me @larrymarkburns or this paper, @theraincrossgazette. We’d love to see your creative ideas come to life. Your contributions not only enrich our collective creative journey but also inspire others to see the potential in everyday objects.

Together, let’s continue to explore the reflective adventures of our imaginative minds and the creative connections we build along the way. Here’s to the mirrors, helping us see ourselves and the world with greater creative clarity.

This column written with the help of a customized GPT from OpenAI. If I can make one, so can you!