In The Walls.

It’s hard to see, and not least because it’s in the bathroom behind the shower curtain, and behind the shower head, but there’s an oddity in the plaster—I think it’s plaster, anyway; I’m not really sure what the white part of the bathroom walls is made of since it’s not tile and I don’t think it’s drywall which, in a shower, would quickly be wetwall, but that’s another story—that looks to me like a leaping gazelle.

Can’t see it? Making it even harder to see is that it’s very small and it really only looks like part of a gazelle, the gazelle’s head specifically, so it takes an incredible amount of imagination to see anything at all in it. Here’s a badly done outline that might help you see it.

It’s something I look for in the shower in the mornings when I’m still trying to shake off sleep, or when I’m trying to cling to that weird dream I had because I think it might be an interesting idea for a story but usually when I manage to hang onto it long enough to write it down it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

And sometimes I contemplate that this is probably how art got started in the first place: someone looked at a natural or accidental formation and it looked to them like something else so they traced it with the juice of a plant or the ashen end of a burned stick. You might have heard of pareidolia, the phenomenon of seeing faces in inanimate objects or natural formations. It extends well beyond faces.

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  1. mydangblog

    That’s so funny–there’s a spot in my bathroom on the old pine floor that, looked at a certain way, resembles a beaver yelling. It’s a knot, but every time I look at it, I think of the Chronicles of Narnia!

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That is funny. I wonder if I’d see a beaver yelling in it too. Now that you’ve said that I probably would. Although I’m really intrigued by the thought that you might step into the bathtub and find yourself in Narnia.

  2. Ann Koplow

    Thanks for seeing wonderful things in walls, Chris.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Once again, Ann, I have to express my gratitude for the wonderful things you see in me.


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