Believe it or not, this Carl Larsson picture of a girl fishing over a railing is one of the most evocative pictures that I own. Over the years I've gotten cartloads of ideas by staring at it. One of the things that appeals to me about it is that there's only one human being and one deck in the scene. If lots of people had a deck fronting the water the view would be spoiled. In this case only one does. The viewer is like a king enjoying a scene that only a handful of other people will ever see.
Now obviously this is just a fantasy because with the population being what it is not even a king could afford to keep a vista like this to himself. But fantasies don't have to make sense. For example, what's the best seat in the house if you're going to out to hear a symphony orchestra? Is it in the middle of the first row? Not really. When you think about it, isn't the best seat one that would be next to the conductor? And wouldn't it be better to lie down than sit down? The best seat is a cot next to the conductor.
What would be the best place for a table if you're going to eat a reataurant meal? By the window? Not really. For me the best place would be right in the middle of the crowd rushing to and fro in the main room of a giant big-city railroad station. I like to see effective people in a hurry. I like trying to imagine what their lives must be like, and while I'm doing that I wouldn't mind a thick, juicy steak and some good wine at a well turned out table with impeccable linen. Of course no one would take notice of me. But that's my fantasy. Maybe you'd like to dine on a mesa or in the womens' dressing room of a supermodel contest.
What's the best place to put the desk that you like to work on? In a big, cushy office? Maybe, but I prefer to be outside in the tropical jungle - minus the heat and bugs. I don't mind monkies and cheetas on my filing cabinets. I think I'd like hearing tropical birds and listening to the gurgling of a near-by stream. I'd like dappled sunlight on my papers and the ozone smell that preceeds a tropical thunderstorm, which by the way wouldn't get my papers wet.
So that's why I like the fishing picture. It's all about possibility and thinking about what you really want, instead of what you'll settle for. Once in a while what you really want turns out to be what other people would really want too, and once in a while ...well, you know the rest.