Wednesday, December 26, 2007

mind's eye

When I imagine something (with my eyes closed, before I fall asleep but after I have started the process of trying to) I see it in my "mind's eye." But I'm not able to reproduce it exactly. It reappears from different perspectives, at different scales, sometimes overlapping or changing but rarely in motion: more like a series of slides projected irregularly onto the screen. Edges are fairly clear, colors and shades not very clear. The speed at which these images are generated based on my effort to direct them is astonishing, compared to how long it would take to create a similar image by hand, or in Photoshop. In the background, dark blue afterimage-like flashes play against a dark grey surface.
Here I have tried to render the image from yesterday's entry as I might picture it in my mind's eye. I am restricted by the format to a rectangular still image. It ought to be rotated at some odd angle and distorted in scale, but I left these things alone so that it can be more easily compared with the image below. It also ought to be darker than is shown here, but even as it is you may need to adjust your monitor to see it at all. Also, the edges are usually lighter than the background, rather than darker as shown here. I'd be interested in hearing if other people's experience of the "mind's eye" is similar, or seeing their attempt at an accurate (rather than poetic) representation.


Karen Ahlstrom said...

The way you talk about things having the wrong proportions reminds me of a weird sensation I often get as I'm falling asleep.

When I'm awake, I have a pretty good idea of where all my body parts are even if I can't see them (try touching your nose or scratching an itch with your eyes closed). When I'm falling asleep, that sense gets seriously distorted. My body gets impossibly long and thin like toothpicks while AT THE SAME TIME it's swelling up like a marshmallow in the microwave. The sensation is not unlike vertigo in that there's percieved change (getting absurdly thinner and fatter) while remaining the same. It's not a pleasant sensation at all, and when it happens I do my best to think about something else so it'll go away.

mike said...

I've had exactly that experience, too, Karen. I kind of like it, though.