This weeks’ WordPress Photo Challenge is to find the alphabet in the world around us, and that’s what I did. It’s been a scavenger hunt, looking at everything in this new and slightly strange way: Does that look like a letter? What if I turned it upside down, or cropped it just right, or looked at it from a different angle . . . It stretched my brain.
I started out by giving myself some limits. I decided I would only accept letter forms that were not officially created to be letters, so I couldn’t build up my alphabet by clipping letters from signs and such like a ransom note. I also limited myself to the printed capital letter form for each letter, not a lower-case or script version. On the other hand, anything that was close enough to this form would count. That is, it didn’t have to be a really clear, obvious version of the letter; if someone familiar with the Roman alphabet would agree that it looked like that letter when it was pointed out, that was good enough. What I found the most interesting about this challenge is which letters were easier and which were harder to find than I expected. I was not surprised that R was hard, and I was very happy to find that roll of ribbon on my craft table, but N surprised me. I almost gave up on B before deciding it was okay to turn a set of cabinet doors sideways. I had a similar problem with P, until I went out to pick up the mail and took a look at the flag on the mailbox. Kitchen tools proved to be valuable (the pastry knife for D, egg ring for G, expanding trivet for M, large ladle for Q), and so did furniture (the cabinet I already mentioned for B, a different cabinet for H, kitchen pass-through for L, kitchen tile for O, lamp for Y, stairs for Z).
This is what I love about working on these photo challenges. Turning things sideways or upside down, looking at them up close or far away, parking in a gas station to take a photo of the railing on the sidewalk or the electrical tower alongside the road; these are not only fun, they get the brain going. One way of understanding creativity is through the concept of divergent thinking, which means to think of multiple, unusual ways to approach things, instead of just sticking with the familiar. Over the last 24 hours I’ve been thinking about everything I see in a different, unusual way (unusual for me, at least), and it’s bee a blast. I encourage you to do the same!