Microscopic Worlds – The Art Of Photographing Tiny Things

Invisibility comes in many forms. Sometimes it occurs because something has no physical form, like a thought or a feeling. Sometimes it occurs because we purposefully hide something, like a scar. And then sometimes it occurs because we simply do not have the physical capability to see something or to see the details of that thing.

damaged nerve microscopic

Picture of a damaged nerve

How much of the world do we miss because we simply can not see it? If we could change the level at which we perceive something what else woulc change? The other day I watched a tiny ant try and try again to figure out how to carry the wing of a termite to it’s home. The wing was too large, the ant too small. I watched as it made decision after decision about what to do – I watched a world I don’t take the time to look at often because of it’s size and I felt filled with wonder.

respiratory virus

Single cell of a respiratory virus

Photographers have found fascinating ways of capturing tiny worlds. Microscopic images of ordinary objects are sometimes beyond belief. A moth wing looks like the most delicate lace, shark skin looks like something made by man, the human tongue, quite honestly, is a tad too close to a horror story for my liking when you view it up close.

 

You might be surprised to find out that two of the photos in this post are from the Center for Disease Controls electron micrograph collection. Not the first place you might think to go looking for artistic images right? But that is exactly the point – Beauty exists in places we don’t expect it to. The world will never stop amazing us. If you are feeling a drought of inspiration or a lack of awe, changing the level at which you view the world can change everything.

moth wings

Detail of Moth Wings – Original Photo by Pitschuni on Flickr

Artistic Micro-Photography Collections

bed but

Ventral surface of a bed bug

Next time something strikes your interest look closer and then closer still. If you really feel inspired, get a microscope – go in search of the tiniest of tiny treasures. The world is large, but it is also very very small and that my friends is a beautiful thing.

Examine Your Armor

This creative exercise is part of a series related to uncovering buried aspects of yourself through art. If you complete this exercise & would like to share what you create, use the following hashtags: #iamsoulwild and #examineyourarmor.

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Examine Your Armor

In order to uncover buried parts of yourself you first must remove your armor but before you can do that you need to know what type of armor you are wearing. On a piece of paper draw yourself wearing armor.

Where is it most dense? Where is it the thinnest? What is it made out of…diamonds, scales, mirrors? How heavy is it, does it weigh you down?

We do not need to destroy our armor, only become aware of it and discard or lighten what is no longer needed.

By knowing how we protect ourselves we also come to know what we fear and what holds us back.

 

100 Reasons To Be Creative

Dear you (yes you, sitting there reading this post), I want you to be creative. I want you to experience the joy of building time for creativity in your life, to sing with paint, to doodle away your sorrows, to learn about yourself through self expression. I want you to infuse your life with color and texture and curiosity. Here are 100 reasons to be creative inspired by blogs all over the world. Click on a reason to read the blog post that inspired it.

100 Reasons to Be Creative

  1. Being Creative makes you happier.
  2. Creativity helps you to face your fear of failure
  3. Creativity makes friends out of strangers.
  4. Creativity makes you thankful.
  5. Creativity gives you relief from everyday life.
  6. Creativity helps you remember.
  7. Creativity helps you figure things out.
  8. Creativity helps you create greatness in your life.
  9. Creativity makes wow moments.
  10. Creativity lets you experience firsts.
  11. Creativity is a Teacher.
  12. Creativity makes you vulnerable.
  13. Creativity makes you smile.
  14. Creativity makes you slow down.
  15. Creativity makes you smarter.
  16. Creativity teaches you lessons.
  17. Creativity makes you cool.
  18. Creativity makes you a better person.
  19. Creativity makes the world feel like home.
  20. Creativity changes your life.
  21. Creativity makes you like your life.
  22. Creativity is happily random.
  23. Creativity captivates you.
  24. Creativity makes you want to go off the beaten path.
  25. Creativity gives you the chance to savor good food.
  26. Creativity makes you appreciate home.
  27. Creativity makes you more creative.
  28. Creativity can bridge generational divides.
  29. Creativity makes you brave. 
  30. Creativity creates connection.
  31. Creativity teaches you to relax.
  32. Creativity gives you a chance to learn new things.
  33. Creativity helps you discover new ways of living.
  34. Creativity challenges you.
  35. Creativity helps you face your fears.
  36. Creativity gives you things to be happy about.
  37. Creativity heals you.
  38. Creativity helps you keep life in perspective.
  39. Creativity helps you escape.
  40. Creativity lets you buy cool souvenirs.
  41. Creativity inspires you.
  42. Creativity allows you to see the world from a different perspective.
  43. Creativity lets you discover.
  44. Creativity makes you open your mind.
  45. Creativity equals freedom.
  46. Creativity gives you new friends.
  47. Creativity shocks you.
  48. Creativity makes history come alive.
  49. Creativity gives you an excuse to learn a new language.
  50. Creativity makes memories.
  51. Creativity makes you grow as a person.
  52. Creativity reminds you of the beauty of nature.
  53. Creativity invites you to be yourself.
  54. Creativity makes you willing to step out of your comfort zone.
  55. Creativity helps you disconnect.
  56. Creativity gives you inner peace.
  57. Creativity reminds you how lucky you are.
  58. Creativity lets you live like a rockstar (or Anthony Bourdain).
  59. Creativity gives you plenty of opportunities to revel in kitsch.
  60. Creativity is magical.
  61. Creativity makes you see the world anew.
  62. Creativity makes you rethink stereotypes.
  63. Creativity educates you.
  64. Creativity changes you.
  65. Creativity lets you get lost.
  66. Creativity lets you be found.
  67. Creativity makes you proud.
  68. Creativity makes you feel younger.
  69. Creativity makes you believe in the kindness of strangers.
  70. Creativity makes you enjoy discomfort.
  71. Creativitying makes wine taste better.
  72. Creativity surprises you.
  73. Creativity shows you the joy of returning to a place you love.
  74. Creativity lets you experience things you’ve never even imagined.
  75. Creativity helps you get in touch with your roots.
  76. Creativity brings you closer to the people you love.
  77. Creativity makes you fall in love.
  78. Creativity humbles you. 
  79. Creativity makes you open to possibility.
  80. Creativity is fun.
  81. Creativity makes you realize how much there is worth fighting for.
  82. Creativity lets your inner child escape.
  83. Creativity lets you experience different flavors of familiar things.
  84. Creativity brings you peace.
  85. Creativity makes it okay not to fit in.
  86. Creativity shows you how beautiful the world is.
  87. Creativity lets you live like a local.
  88. Creativity is colorful.
  89. Creativity helps you search your soul.
  90. Creativity makes you daring.
  91. Creativity is an act of boldness.
  92. Creativity makes you feel good.
  93. Creativity makes great stories.
  94. Creativity makes you see people.
  95. Creativity feeds your imagination.
  96. Creativity makes the ordinary extraordinary.
  97. Creativity makes you do crazy things (like run with bulls).
  98. Creativity empowers you.
  99. Creativity takes your breath away.
  100. Creativity lets you taste regional flavors.

100’s of heart felt thanks to all the bloggers for the inspiration for this post and the ongoing inspiration, wisdom, and vision that they fill the world with.

Write A Poem In The Past And In The Present

This creative exercise is part of a series related to uncovering buried aspects of yourself through art. If you complete this exercise & would like to share what you create, use the following hashtags: #iamsoulwild and #pastpresentpoem.

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Write A Poem in the Past and Present

Create a poem written in past tense describing what you once were.

Change the verbs from past to present. How does that feel? Which sentences make you feel better in the present? Which sentences make you feel better in the past?

 

My #EavesdropPoem – Seen Clearly

The Eavesdrop Poem

So I finished this month’s Creativity Challenge to Eavesdrop A Poem. Was it easy? Nope, at least not as easy as I thought it would be when I made it up. But that’s okay, I did create a (rather short) poem and learned a few things as a result.

Before I talk about all the experience of creating my #Eavesdrop Poem, I wanted to share with you what I made. It’s short, super short, but I’ll get to why that is a bit later.

Seen Clearly – an Eavesdropped poem

Take off your outline
You think it matters
This understanding of you
But I think you alone
Is so nice
Fully Functional
Without your bags of worry
Your words become roses
Made to matter
Exactly as you meant them to be

Collecting Words

One of the most enlightening things about writing this poem was actually the experience of collecting words. When you stop talking and start really listening you begin to see people in an entirely new light. The words they use have nuances and depth, the adjectives that pop up over and over like little clues are more telling then the sentences are, the tone and rhythm of conversations are really like poems themselves especially when you listen closely and meaning falls away as you deepen your observation.

 

There is so much to be heard and so many people that want to be heard. That was the biggest takeaway for me, people want to be heard and a lot of the time we aren’t truly listening.

Writing the #Eavesdrop Poem

I really really did not collect enough words. For anyone who is going to try to do this my biggest piece of advice would be to collect a huge amount of words, more then you think you’ll need and to collect them from many different people in many different scenarios. The tone and types of words change so much based on who you are around, the more diversity you can create in your words, the easier it will be to write your poem.

My poem was short for this reason, next time I’m going to take down at least 5 times as many words and I really don’t think it’s so bad if you add a word or two of your own. I didn’t but I really wanted to and there were a few poems I couldn’t complete because I was missing a few words.

What the Eavesdrop poem exercise does best is that it forces you to really listen, to really use your sense of hearing and then it gives you a starting point for your poem. If you want to embellish go ahead, make it truly your own, let your words intermingle with the words you heard.

Your Poem

I would absolutely love to hear your poems. If you complete the challenge send them my way or share on social media. I’m almost 100% certain yours will be longer then mine! Good luck to all my fellow challengers.

Sing A Song You Used To Love

This creative exercise is part of a series related to uncovering buried aspects of yourself through art. If you complete this exercise & would like to share what you create, use the following hashtags: #iamsoulwild and #singsong.

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Sing A Song You Used To Love

Choose a song from a period of your life when you felt alive. Listen to it and try to remember what it was like to listen to it at the age you first heard it.

Now sing it. Sing it out loud in full abandon. Sing it with passion and energy.

How does that make you feel? Does it bring back any strong feelings or passions that you miss having in your life? Will you allow them more space in your life today/

 

Creative Challenge – Eavesdrop A Poem

Every month here at Soul Wild I will be setting up a creative challenge for everyone who is looking for ways to add a little more creativity into their lives. This month our challenge is to create an eavesdropping poem.

Your Creative Mission – Create An Eavesdropping Poem

Pick one day and spend it collecting sentences, phrases and words you overhear. Spend the entire day collecting conversations but don’t tell anyone what you are doing!

You can do this Harriet the Spy style & save your words in a notebook, scribble them on a scrap of paper or save them in your phone – whatever works best for you. The only rules are that you write down exactly what you hear and that you don’t let anyone know what you are up to.

You have one entire day to collect your words. At the end of the day put down those pencils and let the words swirl inside of your dreams for a night.

 

The next day, take your found words and create a poem out of them. You don’t have to use them all, but you can not use any words or phrases that you did not overhear.

What To Do When You Complete Your Eavesdropping Poem

If you share your work on social media please use the hashtag #EavesdropPoem so others can find your work.

If you would like to share your work on the project page send me an email at kate@iamsoulwild.com with your name, blog url and your poem and I’ll add it to the Eavesdropping poem project page.

I will be sharing my own poem sometime this month and will also talk a bit more on why I chose this challenge and what we can learn from it.

Happy Eavesdropping!

Survive an Avalanche

This creative exercise is part of a series related to uncovering buried aspects of yourself through art. If you complete this exercise & would like to share what you create, use the following hashtags: #iamsoulwild and #surviveanavalanche.

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Survive an Avalanche

I know I’m asking for a lot with this one but if I was to take a guess I bet you have already survived many in your life. This exercise is a creative visualization meant to help you recognize your self-imposed fears and uncover areas of your life you might want to develop more.

Spend a few minutes thinking about things that hold you back. Is it time, or money, lack of support? What are the things that are standing in the way of your dreams?

Once you have those clearly pictured, I want you to imagine that all of these things have been packed into boxes and are falling down from the top of a mountain landing around you. When they land they are sitting at your feet, some still intact, some broken open. You may feel a little battered, but you survived the avalanche. Which boxes cracked and which stayed closed? Are you ready to let go of the the ones that showed you they wanted freedom? Is it time to say good-bye to any that want to remain with you?

One by one take the boxes you are ready to part with and throw them over the mountain’s edge. Allow their weight to leave you and witness your new found lightness.

Now start digging – dig until you find more boxes, older ones that have been frozen for a long time. Recover three or four of these and let them thaw in the sun.

Once they have thawed open them carefully. What do you see? Are they items that remind you of hobbies you once had? Are they parts of your personality that were once dominant yet now whisper? Do you want these things back? What will you do to make that happen?

 

Uncovering Buried Aspects Of Yourself Using Art

Have you ever read an old journal entry and wondered to yourself – Who is this person, it couldn’t have been me? It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that we were somehow better at a different stage in our lives or that certain traits we possessed are no longer ours.

The fact is those things you hear in your old voice, they are simply parts of yourself that are lying dormant for one reason or another.  We are going to do some work to uncover that person because trust me, she is there and she has been patiently waiting for someone to grab the shovel and start digging.

uncoverunbury

 

Life has a way of creating archeological pits out of our souls. Every tear, fear and struggle teaches us something but also requires that we allow some aspects of ourselves to die. As the years go by, parts of ourselves that were once very familiar become lost to us, buried so to speak by the years and our experiences.

While some of the leaving behind is helpful, clearing out space for growth, we also leave behind parts of ourselves that we love whether that is our hobbies, passions, goals or unique traits. They become invisible to us but they are not truly invisible, they are just covered up waiting for us to unbury them.

Creativity as a tool for introspection

Art is one of the most effective tools for helping us uncover parts of ourselves we fear are lost. It is a deeply personal tool that allows use to have a dialogue with ourselves without having to filter it thought the constructs of language.

 

When we paint, draw, write or imagine, we are opening ourselves up to a greater reality and within that reality normal rules don’t apply. You can be messy, fierce, crazy or sad. You can scream with your pencil, laugh with your colors or whisper with your textures. Nothing has to be off limits.

And with this freedom you also gain the freedom to be honest – the most important step to truly seeing yourself. Things we have left behind are many times associated with big emotions and the honesty and freedom that art allows us is what is needed if we are going to dig deep and wade through our own debris to find the diamonds.

What Aspects of Yourself Do You Want to Uncover?

I would love to hear about what aspects of yourself you are missing lately and how you are honoring those parts and giving them light to grow by.