An Invitation to Imagine

This small wooden jetty sitting in the shallows of a blemishless sea looks far from stranded. Even though the water laps feebly at its legs and no boat is in sight, it has an air of expectancy about it - a silently proffered invitation to imagine.

And like Alice peering through the looking glass, we are being beckoned, gently nudged to the edge of unexplored possibilities.

Where did the jetty come from? Who left it there? When will they come back? Or will they ever come back?

These two sun-parched steps leading nowhere dare us to break beyond the merely observable and rummage through our thought to demonstrate in some small way what Albert Einstein so fervently believed: that imagination is more important than knowledge.

What we see is an unexceptional brown dock in a sea of striking blue, a dense mass of cloud tumbled high on the horizon.

But what we know is no match for where our imagination can transport us.

For me, the jetty sits there on the breaking shore like some out-of-towner in a stiff brown suit, who has yet to be informed that the local attire is rather more casual; a businessman with a canceled meeting and time on his hands, paddling in the surf - trousers rolled up and water-speckled.

Or maybe it is an entrance like that unassuming wardrobe that led to the kingdom of Narnia. Or steps down into another world beneath the sea. Or a patient prop to some grander scene. Or flotsam that's been salvaged unscathed from some tempest-tossed ship. Or ... or....

For photographer Melanie Stetson Freeman, this picture was the end of an adventure on a small island, two flights and a boat ride from Borneo. For us, it is just the beginning.

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