In January 2012, I filled the pages of a themed sketchbook that went on tour as part of the Sketchbook Project. My idea for it was born out of a deep desire to be heard and accepted through my preferences, perspectives, perceptions, and choices. In my efforts to understand my feeling of separation, I had come to settle on exploring the diversity of our constructs: how we frame an idea, colors what we see and experience… and how other’s words, thoughts, ideas, and feelings are additional layers of influence on that framing. It becomes a lively conversation in the depths of our minds that forms the subtext of our beliefs and worldview. We do not always know what we do not know and recognizing that I believe, is stepping into awareness of self, of others and of the world we inhabit together.
The creation of this book for me was an exploration into my own interior processes and it is my hope that it can serve others in a similar way. Do any of our “real” views represent the whole picture? This picture may be out of grasp, but to know just that alone creates an opening for conversing rather than condemning, for finding common ground and discovering new possibilities.
This book can be used as a visual aid, illustrating the contexts within which our perceptions arise. It can also serve as a meditation tool. As you turn each page, you will be peeling back one frame after another until at last the complete, unframed image is revealed. The newspaper clippings on the back of each page represent the words, thoughts, ideas, perceptions, and noise beneath each frame and the accumulation of what we co-create. Here are a couple of questions you may enjoy pondering as you flip through this book:
“Is it possible to ever see the full picture?”
“Can I shed my preconceptions?”
“What do we each see when we look at the same thing?”
“Does it matter if we don’t see eye to eye? Is there beauty in that?”
Perhaps the question “what do you see?” isn’t as important as the question “what can you see?”
Research has shown that minute differences in how something is presented can covertly influence our reasoning. And the ability to adapt and pivot is vital to our resiliency. This book is my invitation to you to slow down, become conscious of these influences and in doing so, enter the realm of beautiful thinking.