Faces Anywhere

compliments of William Hogarth, 1743. May he rest in peace.

Compliments of William Hogarth, 1743. May he rest in peace.

I twitter as bruwer. Announcements of new posts on this blog are automatically tweeted (if that’s the correct past tense of tweet – I hate to guess what the irregular version might be) but my manual tweets are few and far between. I am being followed by several people who don’t know me from Adam and who obviously are tweeting for financial gain.

I have chosen to follow several people. One of those people is Ingrid Michaelson, an indie singer I like very much. Her tweets are very interesting and often very personal in nature. Not that I’m snoopy or anything, but it’s kind of fun finding out that she has picked something strange out of her nose, or that she is depressed after dealing with obnoxious people, or that she sees people in odd places like the grain of wood or tiles in a bathroom. This odd habit I can relate to, because I see faces in odd places. In fact, it happens so often that if it doesn’t happen, I think something is wrong.

Perhaps you have no idea what I’m talking about. Say, for example, you’re seated in a comfortable chair somewhere in a room with a carpet. You glance at the carpet and suddenly think you see the image of a human face. It could be a large image or it could be very tiny. You might spot it as your eyes pass across the carpet. You look back at the place where you thought you saw it, but it’s nowhere to be found. A minute later, as you happen to glance at the carpet again, the face again appears. This time you consciously attempt to remember where it is, registering its location in relationship to some other, more easily spotted landmark. After years of experience with this, I know that few other people can see what I see. It’s not because what I’m seeing is not there, it’s because no one has processed the information I’m seeing quite like I have. I never see these faces when I try, only when I’m not trying.  And I can see faces on just about anything that has some kind of texture.

I’ve often thought that the stuff I see could make decent art if only I had the skill to transcribe the images to paper or canvas. But then others would see what I do, and it wouldn’t be special any longer. Most of the faces I see are very interesting and unusual. If I were really crazy, I would name them and perhaps talk to them. So far, that has not happened. I really think that some people (or perhaps all people) have evolved to look for faces subconsciously. Do you ever see faces in strange places? Would you admit it if you do?

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