Monday, July 11, 2011

clearly

A grimacing shark is forever diving on the cushion of my couch. Not a real shark of course, but a likeness of a shark that my eye clearly sees and inevitably picks out from the patterned upholstery fabric.
I've seen other creatures in tile floors, faces in wood grain and vast landscapes in the clouds.
Some say that we see more than is there because of a phenomenon that painters call "negative space."
I think it's because our creative minds are restless, always sorting and grouping data, always imagining.

Years ago, family converged at my parents home for a holiday. We drew the short straw and were bedded down for the night in a small camping trailer. In the inky dark of night, I heeded the call of nature and groped my way to the bathroom in the house. When I stood again before the screen door, facing that lonely trip back to my warm sleeping bag, my eye seemed to pick out the silhouette of a bear sitting and watching me at the edge of the yard.
Bears had been known to amble through the yard, pausing at the bee hives or apple trees for a small snack. The small snack part had me worried.
Part of me felt certain that it was not a bear but the part of me that moves my legs was not so sure.
The bear and I stared at each other.
Stars moved across the sky.
Just as I was beginning to run out of adrenalin, my husband came and escorted me to safety.
Morning revealed that my life had been endangered by a stump adorned with a potted plant.
Our eyes may delight or terrify us by turn, but they always entertain.

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