I looked up from my reading, out into the cherry tree outside the window, and saw an elf chatting to no one in particular.

My over drawing doesn’t do justice to what I actually see. Plus there is a gentle wind that animates him. He was all I saw live, but the photo shows a lot more pareidolia. Now I also see more live. And I just looked up and saw a different, more feminine looking elf in the same place. OH! Another elf showed up just behind them! (He’s in the photo, but because of the wind, faces a slightly more direct angle there.) Actually, a lot of elves–and birds. There’s also a hand holding a bird above the original elf’s head.

How can anyone be bored!!??!! I LOVE pareidolia!

When looking up how to spell the word (which I’m not even sure I pronounce right) I saw an article that said “Pareidolia is a type of complex visual illusion that occurs in health but rarely reported in patients with Depression.”

YES!! I have never really believed that SAD is just a form of depression. It’s, as far as I’m concerned, just a different normal. It does share many of the elements of depression, and apparently the same meds help with the more negative elements. It’s just far too common to be a disorder, and it never interferes with my pareidolia. And I have had actual depression and, though I’d never thought about it before, that does interfere with pareidolia. SAD, for me anyway, does not create the hopelessness that depression does. Maybe that’s what blocks the pareidolia. 🙂

9 thoughts on “Pareidolia

  1. so of course I went to to look up this new-to-me word … where I found the related term apophenia, which seems to hold darker potential

    anyway, I love that you drew what you saw … and then I went on my own pareidolia hunt and found a lion in the lower right corner … fascinating

    and I quite agree that SAD is not a form of depression … I’ve always thought it to be a physiological response, one which has been far less of a problem for me since moving to Texas 12 years ago since there are both more hours of daylight and fewer rainy days

    1. I only just learned the word in these past couple of months. I’m looking for the lion, now. 😉 Ha! Apophenia seems to be as out of control as covid, these days.

      Yes, when I lived in Colorado, I had very little problem with SAD. I’m in Oregon only because family is here. I’m not sure Texas would help me unless it’s dry, since I found Virginia’s heat and humidity in the summer just as bad as the darkness of fall/winter.

      1. Faith – I’m back to say that I linked to this post from the art blog as it belatedly occurred to me how the two are related …

        and I’m intrigued to learn of your Virginia connection as Don and I lived in Williamsburg for 40+ years …

        1. Thank you
          We lived in Spotsylvania/Fredericksburg from ’93 to’04. We visited Colonial Williamsburg once. Iqbal worked in DC, so his commute time (ideally possible in 1 hour, normally 2 hours, once 6 hours! =Suicide on bridge closed 95 completely & not knowing the non interstate routes, he got lost after he finally got to an exit) and having a teenager, curtailed exploring the state as much as we wanted to.

  2. love your thoughts about SAD…love the word
    Pareidolia…never knew it before….thank you…now i have a name for what happens!
    i am somewhere “on the spectrum” re SAD.

  3. I think most people are on the spectrum, that it’s as Liz said, a physiological response.

    Isn’t it a great word?! I was saying it wrong (the e is silent) all afternoon, yesterday, but both pare-idolia and paree-idolia sound fun. And it IS nice to know what it’s called since my whole family has spent an afternoon or evening now and again trying to outdo each other with the images we find in whatever is near–from clouds to floor tiles.

  4. I see a German Shepard type dog, pointy ears – bottom left.
    I too went to read (and listen) about this new to me word. So interesting, but really there is a name for everything, yes? I wonder if there is also a name for seeing full on imagined movies when closing your eyes to go to sleep. I see the most wild stuff! As far as SAD, I know others who even in sunny SoCal hate the early dark of daylight savings time.

  5. Nancy, 95% of my dreams are movies, with actual movie stars in them, Before I actually sleep I often hear movies, but that’s always like it in another room and all I can make out is background music (old style like pre 60s) and voices, but rarely well enough to hear words.
    I’m a night owl, so early a.m. darkness doesn’t bother me. There are days when the sun is up before I get to bed, though. But I like sleeping with the sun on my face. 🙂

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