Hello, Toads. So what brings you to the Garden today? I see, but what’s really on your mind? That’s what I’m here to help you discover. Let me introduce myself: I’m Dr. Lolamouse. Please have a seat. Or lie down on the couch if you prefer. I’m going to show you some images, and I’d like to you tell me what they bring to mind.
Oh, you want an explanation first? That’s a bit unorthodox, but for you, okay. I’ll break the rules of psychoanalytic diagnosis if you insist, but don’t complain to me later if your transference doesn’t develop properly!
Back in the day, when I was a practicing psychologist, I often used projective tests to help me understand and diagnose my clients. These tests come in many forms, but perhaps one of the most well-known is the Rorschach Inkblot Test. The idea behind the Rorschach, or indeed any projective measure, is that when presented with an ambiguous stimulus, we will project our own unconscious feelings, desires, fears, and/or wishes on it. Some practitioners think the Rorschach is unreliable, invalid, and general hooey, while others rely on it heavily. We’re not here today to debate the merits of the inkblot test but to have a little creative fun with it.
The original Rorschach images are now public domain, and if you are interested, they are easy enough to find. As a psychologist, however, I would be violating my ethical principles to reveal them here, since doing so would compromise the test’s integrity. Not to worry, though! We’re resourceful and creative people. I have created my own inkblot images to inspire your unconscious. Or, if you like to play, make your own. It’s easy! Just fold a piece of paper in half, dribble some random ink or paint blobs on one half, then fold it over, press, rub, and open to reveal your creation!
Here are some I created:
Your challenge, dear Toads, is to choose an inkblot and write whatever comes to mind. You may focus on the entire inkblot or any section of it. You may also rotate the images any way you wish. If unstructured, free form thought causes you to become anxious, use your associations as a stepping stone to a more structured form. Or keep it raw and unedited.
Oh, I see that our time is up. I look forward to reading your minds, I mean, your poems!