Visual Prompt: What a Picture Paints

I used lived across the street from the beautiful Vassar College campus in Poughkeepsie, NY.  I woke up one foggy morning, grabbed my camera, and went for a walk.

I ended up with an incredible mix of photos, but this one is my favorite.  Years later, when I look at it, I am still filled with a deep sense of quiet and calm … exactly what I was feeling that morning.

The thing that stands out most about this photo is that it presented itself at the end of my walk, after I stopped looking for photos and started to simply enjoy the peacefulness.

It’s that way with writing, too.  When we struggle too much to find the right word, sometimes it becomes too elusive and slips further away.  Then, later, when it’s quiet, the word whispers to us, still but certain.

I try to honor those moments and not scramble around looking for my notebook, but I also know that if I don’t write it down quickly, it could slip away again.

That’s the fickle nature of the muse, I suppose.

I’m sharing this photo now as a visual writing prompt.  Take a good long look and let your mind wander.  Then let your words whisper and see where they lead.

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2 thoughts on “Visual Prompt: What a Picture Paints

  1. Olivia, I just realized I didn’t leave a comment when I first read this – so sorry, I thought I had!

    This is an absolute gorgeous photo! It brings about so many different stories, at least for me. How wonderful that you realized you needed to stop and take it all in. You’re so right – it’s very difficult to do that, especially when we keep notebook handy at all times to capture any thoughts these images evoke. But if we don’t stop to pay attention, there is no story.

    Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful post!

    1. Hi Deanna, As I traveled around during the past few weeks, I tried to remember exactly what you say. It’s so important to stop and pay attention, to listen, to watch. I’m an avid photographer, but I realized a few years ago that I wasn’t having authentic experiences because I was always behind the camera. When looking back at pictures, I remember taking the photo, but I don’t necessarily remember the moment, the place. I still take many (many, many, many) photos, but I’ve learned to stop and enjoy the moment. It makes a difference.

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