Anyway, 'serendipity': 'the occurence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.' To my way of thinking, without it, any kind of creativity would soon become moribund and stale. Some of the greatest developments in art probably owe more than a small debt of gratitude to it. Stephen King in On Writing is rather rude as I recall about writers who never waver from their plotting and don't allow the creative process itself to take over and light the way ahead. I totally agree, sticking rigidly to a pre-ordained plan effectively stifles creativity.
What on earth would all those thousands of tourists who jockey for a place at the Louvre around the painting of the Mona Lisa every single day do if Leonardo had declared, "Sorry love, but you're smiling again. I can't paint you smiling - nobody does smiley portraits!" (but of course he'd have said it in Renaissance Italian).
In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones is confronted by a huge Arabian swordsman who, after drawing his scimitar, gives a bravura display of his skill to instill fear in his adversary. When this scene was shot, Harrison Ford, seeing the comedic potential of the moment, simply drew his gun from its holster and shot the swordsman. I recall the moment brought the house down at the Odeon Leicester Square. Spielberg didn't say, "Very funny Harrison, but now let's do the fight as it is in the script!" because he knew his leading actor had given him something hilarious, unexpected and far better than the fight we all anticipate is about to happen.
In August 2006 my wife and I visited my mother for a week or so. One of the features of our six-weekly trips to Wales was taking a daily walk. Sometimes my mother used to complain that she was feeling a bit tired. "Come on!" we'd say, "You don't want to miss out on an opportunity to have a nice walk." Later on, after the walk, she would invariably tell us how much good it had done her. One sunny afternoon we drove up to Cefn Bryn on the Gower Peninsula. Just to the north of the ridge summit at Cefn Bryn is a Neolithic burial site known as King Arthur's Stone, which is definitely worth a visit if you've never seen it. However, on this occasion we travelled in the opposite direction along the ridge towards Penmaen with its stunning views across Oxwich Bay and (my personal favourite) Three Cliffs Bay.
The photograph that inspired this blog was taken at the very end of our walk when we were on our way back to the car. I wasn't wearing my glasses, so looking into the small viewing panel on my camera would have been a waste of time. I just knew that what I was looking at would make a great photograph. I literally took the camera out of its pouch on my belt, pointed it in the right direction and snap!
Who knows and who cares!