Day 12 - Pareidolia



December 21, 2014

(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year. Each day I will find a gift the day brings, write about it and illustrate it.)

Pareidolia shapes my perception and has always been a part of my life ever since I can remember. Today I see a heart in a fallen tree on the Downs Park beach, another day I see a rabbit in the clouds and another day a poodle in peeling paint. Some people see Jesus in their toast or monsters in inkblots.

When I was a student at Frostburg, the bathroom for our dorm hall had a row of shower stalls with canvas curtains. As warmth embraced my body and washed away the day’s tensions, I would begin splashing water onto the dry canvas. Unconcerned about wasting water then, I sometimes spent 45 minutes in the warm shower while I imagined what each water blotch on the canvas looked like. Then I made up stories in my head that connected the individual pictures. It was fun and for nearly an hour, I forgot about stress-producing class deadlines.

My youngest daughter, Lauren, also experienced this when she was little. At age two, one night at the dinner table, she began to point and laugh hysterically at her vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup. “Man’s face! Man’s face!” she exclaimed with delight. At another time, she became excited when she saw ET’s face in a knotted tree piece that was on the ground. She has never mentioned it but I hope this pleasure continues for her today as she experiences life in her 30’s.

I don’t ever want to lose the ability to see what is not there.  It is like seeing double in a good way: I see what is there and then I see what is there. Double pleasure.

Today’s gift was a heart in a log.

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> DAY 13 Rainy Day
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