I asked a question.
I asked her, ‘What do you see?’
‘I don’t know which mind to look at it with.’, she replied almost immediately, seeming very confused.
I smiled to myself and texted back ‘I’m not looking for what it is, but what you see.’
‘Use all your minds’ I added.
Then she saw and sent to me ‘I see two keyholes placed one on top of the other, one upside down.’
And I thought, ‘You’ve seen well.’
And many saw well.
I asked close to twenty people this question about one image and they saw differently. They saw with minds which had been watered by different expectations and pruned by different experiences. They saw with minds which bore fruits of oddinary perspectives.They all saw well.
From the various responses I had, it became obvious that a lot of us view things from diverse eye-views. Of course, we know of the bird’s-eye view and the worm’s-eye view from perspective drawing, but when it comes to general realities of life, I believe these elements of the art become inapplicable. What have proven over the centuries to be the points from which our minds consider matters, I believe, come from our inclinations that result in us perceiving things from the faith-eye view, academic-eye view, political-eye view just to mention a few. In fact, our varying personalities dictate to a great extent how we perceive objects, people and situations.
In an image that one individual saw two keyholes, another confidently declared spotting two keys. This second person even went on further to probe what it was that I was trying to open. In the same image, one person saw the opportunity- the keyholes; and the other saw the ability- the keys.Quite fascinating.
However, it is not always fascinating. Often times it is rather exasperating that people do not see things as we see or as we sometimes think, as they are. You can imagine being told that what you had chosen as a logo was not a knot as you intended it to be seen, but was two outrageously funny looking spoons, as a hungry girl in Denmark on lunch break described it. Or to a mother whose daughter was just a year old, it looked like family planning! To the very philosophical, it was a symbol which represented the path of life with its interlocks and separations!! You can let your mind run wild in the forest thinking of how people perceived what was intended to be a modified Adinkra symbol called Nnyansap), but believe me, you would find yourself at home in someone’s perspective no matter where you took a break to catch your breath.
So I asked another person, this time round ready for any response, ‘ Tell me, what do you see?’
She first sent a smiley, then sent, ‘ I’m trying hard, I think my mind wants me to see certain things. Can I have a clue?’
And I sent back to her ‘No, whatever you see is good.’
Then she replied after a couple of seconds, obviously hesitant,’I see two test tubes.’
I laughed. I was beginning to see what they were seeing. I could also see the test tubes that the bio-chemistry student was seeing. It felt good.
A few minutes later, she asked, ‘What is it supposed to be?’
I answered, ‘It’s a modified Nyansap). I’m told it’s one of KNUST’s symbols, but it would amaze you what others saw.’
Now she laughed and sent to me, ‘I guess I was a victim of wrong seeing too.’
And my heart warmed as I sent to her, ‘No, you just have an Oddinary Perspective.’
So my oddinary friend, in all matters tell me, what do you see?