Anyone can do this and anything can bring it about. Albert Einstein did this often calling them thought experiments. He would just let his mind go where it wanted enabling his vast intellect to take him where he normally would not have gone. Part of our problem is that our minds are usually too busy to enjoy the experience or benefit from the wonderful potential that can come from clearing our heads of all the distractions we are surrounded by. If you can find the time and opportunity to have some peace and quiet and you can clear your thoughts, you can take any subject and work it out. But if you are lucky enough they will hit you unexpectedly.
We just experienced one of the biggest snowstorms to hit this area with about sixteen inches blanketing everything. So I took the time to go outside in the cold and snow to take my mental snapshots and stored them away in my memory for as long as it will hold them. At night with that much snow the usual landscape is completely different than anything we are used to. Thus begins the mind taking its journey, starting off unconsciously looking for something. Soon I realize I am looking for something and the quest begins in earnest. After that it was pretty simple. The snow and the light in the distance being fractured around a tree was special and I was taken away. It made me think of Stephen Kings The Shining; in the maze in the snow at night with the subtle landscape lighting entranced me. Absolutely awesome!
When different things I like are combined it is like winning the lottery. This night there were so many things to make one small special moment and I relished it. The surroundings were quiet and snowy; the diffused light behind a tree highlighting its winter form and my disc golf catcher in the foreground next to a wandering waterway was awesome. I love this as much as most anything because my brain just starts to go. I can’t tell you where it went because one day you may get to read some version of this night in one of my books.
I normally classify myself as a strange person and hopefully that will work to my advantage. I think that no matter what you do, you can apply this method of looking at things to whatever confounds you, interest you or inspires you. Take the time to see things in a different way and life will be grander, more interesting and just maybe clearer.