Yes, everything

Photo by Alex Gruber on Unsplash

click on all images once / twice to enlarge

They said ‘You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are.’
The man replied, ‘Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue guitar.’

Wallace Stevens
The Man With The Blue Guitar

I’m slightly coy (I don’t know why) about admitting that since yesterday’s post – ‘The bud stands for all things’ – I’ve continued hour upon hour to be entranced by the idea of the imaginable – of design, of Galway Kinnell’s ‘everything flowers from within.’

I mean, imagine repeating that to young children, from as early as possible: that what comes forth from people’s imaginations – their own ‘designs for life’ included – are, often and literally, among the great wonders of the world.

And then imagine that being repeated in adult lives, over and over again, a repetition that would forever stretch their own imaginations: that you continue to have endless possibilities for creativity, in every second of your life, if you will hear the sometimes quiet voice of your imagination.

And then imagine really believing this yourself / myself. The thought sets heart and mind and soul alight: indeed our very bodies react to it. We know that our capacity for imagination is without limits – and we want to get on with the creative business of imagining some more.

Every single image in this carefully curated collection today contains dozens (at least!) of design elements that started out life in imagination, human, or that of The Great Imagination, flowering from within.

If you’ve time today, or in the next day or so, make a cup of something warming. Sit down with it and then spend a couple of minutes with each of these photographs. What’s going on in your imagination as you stay with them? Can you feel energising welling up? Warmth? Wonder? Delight? Which stir you most? What sights, sounds, people, animals, come to mind? What new moments are you going to design, to bring into the light, by the time you’ve finished your hot chocolate? May the joy of your own design flower from within you – today.

Photo by Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash
Photo by Christian Bowen on Unsplash
Photo by Ally Griffin on Unsplash
Photo by XPS on Unsplash
Photo by Billy Jo Catbagan on Unsplash
Photo by Gabs | Artist on Unsplash
Photo by Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash
Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash
Photo by Alessandro Bianchi on Unsplash
Photo by JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash


Photo by Kate Laine at Unsplash

A big shout out this morning to the people in our lives who bring us art and design. They’re worth their weight in gold – and conversation (face to face or ‘online’) with someone who’s passionate about design – and great at it – always sends my spirits soaring.

Where we deliberately and carefully choose to place ourselves, and things that inspire and bring meaning to our lives, are hugely important. In Kate Laine’s photo here I catch a scent of mince pies just out of the oven, it’s probably blowing a rainy gale outside, and whoever lives here is delighted to be home for the evening. Calming, joyful, relaxed and comfortable.

Heavy grey cloud and rain greeted my early Lakeland walk today, and the continuing metamorphosis of the natural world smelled and appeared earthy and inevitable – just as the design and creation of spaces to hold our own unfolding, resting and rising are. And I’m so thankful for designer / artist / photographer / poet friends I’ve been chatting with in much loved Edinburgh. The juxtaposition of my Lakeland life, and my Edinburgh life, and the treasured people in both, amounts to high art and design in itself.

And on a drizzly grey morning it all seems to carry the wide-smiling imprint of a caring and joyful designer – and of mindful intention.