Pareidolia describes a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random image being mistakenly perceived as recognizable. Common examples include images of animals or faces in clouds, seeing the man in the moon, and hearing messages on records played in reverse. The word comes from the Greek para-amiss, faulty, wrong and eidolonimage, the diminutive of eidos appearance, form. (Wikipedia)
Human beings, studies show, are apparently “hard-wired” to identify the human face. I like human faces and I learn a lot from my own kind. What an amazing classroom we live on! When I first”learned” that Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Man in the Moon werefantasies, (we didn’t use terms like Pareidolia in East Tennessee) I thought I was an enlightened boy that knew what was really real.Some fantasies or psychological images contain far moretruth than mere facts. We measure and observe life by the way it moves – by our ongoing circus of passing things, and by our thoughts about what we see and hear that, like a ticket we buy, provides us a ceaseless awareness of ourselves.
I have observed and measured life as I have ridden planes, trains, and automobiles. And I always tried to ride every thrilling ride on the midway at the State Fair or in the amusement parks I have visited. I have ridden animals, the most interesting being a camel. Bikes and motorcycles and skateboards have propelled me around. I have traversed the water with tubes and skis and boards. Plus I have rode around manmade beauty with a bag of manufactured sticks in a golf cart around the reconstructed pastures of the world.
But to know who I really am, I have to inhabit the timeless sanctuary through which all the forms of life come and go — then I must know stillness as best I can for short periods. On Saturday night, a big old moon brought that stillness to me as the embers died down after the marshmallows were gone at the Hilltop cabin at Lakeside Resort.
Irving Berlin wroteI got the sun in the morning and the moon at night? and that was a pleasant thought indeed. My nose was pink from too muchSol and I had slipped on a long sleeve t shirt because there was a little coolness in the night air and then everyone abandoned me and there I sat hearing the water slap the shoreline of the lake in the distance. The tree frogs, the crickets and a solitary owl were my company and they had few opinions that I could gather.
Pythagoras said do not say a little in many words, but a great deal in a few. The universe had no words to say at the time but said a great deal to me anyway. I thought about a college class I took entitled On Death and Dying that used psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s great book with the same name. We talked about death openly and visited a funeral home and other images associated with death and it helped shape my perspective about the issue. Death has a reason, actually many reasons and often in silence we think we mimic death in a way which is why it scares some of us so we run back to the group to talk or watch TV and forget about it for a while. I tend to agree with Kubler-Ross who advises Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself and know that everything in life has a purpose. I was also thinking of Cage’s thought that even challenges silence as an absolute. I looked it up this morning. There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot.?
As usual with most human endeavors, there are few absolutes. Absolutes are God’s business and some of his bestareabsolutely Love and Truth.
We earthlings merely approach concepts instead of fully grasping them. We humans are of the drive-by ilk, who toy with many things as we pass through but since we are riding the Time Train can’t stay around to see the ending of anything much and try to forget that the same train we ride is taking us to our own ending as humans, i.e. our physical death.
As I sat there in introspection, me and my alter ego, the man in the moon who reflects me back to me; I heard my given name being called, my daughter first, Come in Daddy. Then my friend, Hey Hicks, get your ass in here. Then my wife, Time to come in, baby. I grinned as big as those old pictures I remembered of the man in the moon. It is good to have so much fun that you have no energy left except to think of such things. It is good to be wantedat the end of the day after things are done. It is good to be alive.Ultimatelyitis good to be.
The main purpose of the not really silent moments we call silence may be to just be still long enough to hear the familiar voices that tell us one more time to come inside for a while. It’s time to rest but notgive up this particular mix of carbon just yet. Lots more to learn. A few more stops on this train ride called time.
I learned a lot at Center Hill Lake on Saturday. God is partial to the colors, blue and green. I can do everything I could do 25 years ago but only in much shorter spurts. And I have people that care about me. Wealth is measured in all kinds of ways.
Cloud watcher and friend of the Man in the Moon,
Bruddah Hicks riding his trike in 1960