Saturday, October 15, 2011

Shocks of recognition

Lately I've been noticing faces which remind me of artworks. Not at first, just that vague "where have I seen that face before" type of perception, followed by a sharp thump to the side of the head, when I realize where I've seen it.

A few days ago, at the Recorder Society meeting, I thought the conductor reminded me strongly of medieval art, that long serious face, deep eyes, tall, flowing clothes, fitted in perfectly with her field which is early music. She would have fitted right in with stained glass, too in a cathedral, or an early icon, same features.

Then in the Asian market, today,I was surrounded by classic Chinese and Japanese faces, exactly like those in my Japanese woodblock prints and in early Chinese artforms in ceramics, but these people were checking out food at the counter of a local store.

It reminded me of my surprise at realizing that what I had taken, as a little kid, for great imaginative powers were more an illustration of faces and natural forms familiar to the artist or writer. I used to assume that the toadstools that elves sat on in fairy books, the red ones with white dots, were simply a work of the imagination.

Then, a few years ago, we had a wildly wet summer followed by wonderful fungi in the autumn. There all around the house were fungi in purple, cream, red with white dots, yellow underneath, bronze on top, all the illustrations from fairy books come to life! the only thing missing was the little elf in the green hat.

I've been reading Malcolm Gladwell lately, "What the Dog Saw" to be exact, a collection of essays written for the New Yorker, over a couple of decades, some of them a bit dated now, but all interesting and interestingly analyzed. He has a knack of suggesting, not the answers and the deconstruction of a phenomenon, but the best questions to put to it. This makes not only an interesting writer, but one who triggers other perceptions in his reader, like my studying the faces at the shop today.

The dog in the title is one of the clients of the Dog Whisperer, whose approach is not to enforce his ideas on the dog, but to figure out what the dog is seeing in order to get them working in harmony. I do tend to consider the underdog first in human interactions, too, and see what I can understand of that viewpoint, before arriving at a conclusion.

The Dog Whisperer, however, grew up with a better understanding of dogs than of people and had a shock of recognition when he was advised to treat his wife like an actual human being, not just a useful appliance in his own life, before he lost her. He was so shocked that he realized he had to see What the Wife Saw, as well as what the dog saw! I gather he did manage this, just in time.

But, since I was out shopping for food, I decided life can't be lived on this high plane at all times, since lunch is important, too, and I made this nice crustless spinach quiche, which seasoned blogistas will know is Diane's Passover recipe, but she tells me gentiles can eat it too, and it's not seasonal!

what it is,though, is very good.


  1. Yummy looking quiche. Have you tried my recipe yet?

  2. It is interesting to think of what other people are seeing in a situation. I'll give it a try! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


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