Faces In The Dark

It's no secret that I am an insomniac. Some nights I lay awake ALL night with my mind ticking over things, other nights my mind is sort of... empty, and I just let my eyes wander around the room.

I've always laid awake in the dark, and always look around the room, trying to find something innocuous to focus on to help me sleep, but one thing that has always been consistent is the faces around me. Some are deep in thought, some are angry, or mad, or smiling and laughing - some are people, or animals, or stylised or even "other". Monsters, Aliens - whatever.

Now, this sounds odd, and probably sounds like I am going off my rocker, but I assume you *cluck moo baaaa* I am not. They have always been around me - in the wallpaper, in the curtains, in hanging or crumpled clothing, trees outside, clouds. As a child, I used to bury my head under the covers because they scared me, but as an adult, I know it's just my mind playing tricks on me. Some nights, I actually find myself actively seeking them out, but other nights, I feel like the world is staring at me.

Maybe it's one of the reasons I have insomnia.

A while back, I had a poke around the internet, and it turns out there is a term for it; Pareidolia:

The term pareidolia, referenced in 1994 by Steven Goldstein,[1] describes a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon, and hidden messages on records played in reverse. The word comes from the Greek para- — beside, with or alongside — and eidolon — image (the diminutive of eidos — image, form, shape). Pareidolia is a type of apophenia.
So, that is the generic word to cover the term. The visual version is that other word there; Apophenia:
Apophenia is the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. The term was coined in 1958 by Klaus Conrad, who defined it as the "unmotivated seeing of connections" accompanied by a "specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness".
I'm sure we've all done it at some point in our life - seen a cloud that looks just like a face, or an object. And let's face it, there are plenty of people that sell "Images of Christ" on Ebay, seeing his face in food, or in stains, or watermarks or whatever. And the pictures from 9/11, with the devils face in the smoke and dust.

But me, I just carry on as normal, disregarding them or studying them as my head allows. Last night at two in the morning, I noticed our net curtain formed a near-perfect profile of an Indian, standing and looking down at something.

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4 Responses to “Faces In The Dark”

Nancy Jensen said...

Insomnia? Why I have no idea what you are talking about! What? It's almost 3:00am and I'm still up and wide awake? Hmmm... maybe I do know something about it... just not what to DO about it.

Ah, well... I can't go to bed now that you have your webcam going and strange people digging graves... erm, holes in your front yard.

So who is going in them? The neighbors who painted their house bright red? How about Tigg's crazy aunt? LOL

Dan said...

At the rate these kids are going during this "summer" holiday (Yes, it's grey, wet and very windy), those graves are for me to get some peace and quiet!

Nancy Jensen said...

My kids just started back to school for the FALL last week. FALL? It's 100+. I'll take a little of your coolness if you'll take some of our heat. Deal?

Miss Jess has been to doctors the last two days and is wearing a holter heart monitor. Two leads came off... I suspect her being sweaty had something to do with it. At least it goes back tomorrow... erm... today!

Karl left town to go to the Grand Canyon to work for 5 days. Both Jess and I are PMSing... hehe... Karl is a smart one, that's for sure!

Hopefully you will have your cam Tam-proofed by the time Jess gets up for the day. She would get such a thrill out of watching it. Oh, and when you find Hogwarts... you'll definitely have to put it on the webcam too. hehe!

g-man said...

I see the same faces, not all the time, but when I see them I have to study it, and if I can change my viewing angle to see how it changes. Sometimes I will go away and come back to see if I can find it again.

Here's to a good nights sleep!