1 Aug 2007

Have you ever experienced a moment in time when your eyes were doing their job but your mind was still struggling to make sense of it? I've experienced it on three occasions since moving to the hill country. You literally stop what you were doing and thinking, and for a moment, you are stuck spinning a loop of unthought that can best be described as saying to oneself, "What is that? what is that? What is that?"

It's an amazing experience--your brain spinning trying to make reason of the information coming in from the eyes. It's like those scary movie charaters who freeze with their jaw dropped at the sight in front of them. You yell at the screen, "Run! What are you stupid? Run!"

Well, now I know I'd be one of those charaters. Frozen. Drop jawed. My brain spinning trying to reason what the eyes were seeing.

The first time this happened I walking our dog, WolfieGirl, and saw a large something crossing the road about a quarter of a mile away. It saw us, stopped and stood in the middle of the road. WolfieGirl and I stopped walking and we stood frozen, our minds spinning, "What is that? What is that? What is that?"

Turns out it was a cougar. Like a large dog with long skinny tail, cat slink, cat freeze. No one believed me until a neighbor confirmed that cougar(s) still roam our neighborhood occasionally and their tracks cross where I saw mine that day.

Another head spinning moment occurred while walking Wolfie. This time the creature was much smaller but much closer. We had turned our back on the road ahead of us for only a moment as WolfieGirl sniffed something interesting. We turned ahead to continue only to see ahead of us a spikey looking raccoon half way across the road. It was crossing in a shaded area at sundown so I couldnt make out colors. It didn't move like a raccoon. It was larger than a raccoon, was dragging it's tail, and it's "fur" was jagged like a punk rocker.

Fifteen minutes later it occurred to me what my eyes saw--it must have been a porcupine. It's interesting how my brain was spinning for fifteen minutes trying to make reason of a double sized raccoon that had horribly muddied fur and that didn't move like all the other raccoons I had seen before.

Brains are amazing things. All the info is there, but if the brain is not able to reason it tries every trick in the book to make it fit what it knows.

Now, on to the reason for this post and the video below.

It's a Crested Caracara. And my friend, Deana, captured it on tape near Enchanted Rock Park last April.

The video shows a rare creature that made my brain spin the first time I saw it in real life. I was driving toward Bastrop on a two-lane highway and saw a duck-like creature standing on the shoulder of the road. My car whizzed by it and from then on my brain was spinning, "What was that? Did I just see a duck? A duck with a long legs? What's a duck doing on the side of the road?"

This bird is a native of Texas and I'm a Texas native, but I had never seen one of these ducks before--thus my brain spinned, and spinned, trying to make sense of what my eyes were telling me.

MY POINT: All of us do it. And we do it when we watch moving pictures on our screens. Our brains always make reason of what we see. And when we become video makers we cast, dress, decorate, script and light recreating those lifelong unconscious meanings because we think they are real.

Some video makers are conscious of their decisions, especially the professionals. But not nearly enough. Most professionals are still running around recreating their unconscious programming--this means that, that means this, period the end.

Unconscious meanings that we've created are found everywhere in our professional media. And most of them have formed into collective unconscious meanings. That's what beauty looks like. That's how rich people act.

And just because you see them over and over doesn't mean they are real.

That's a wrap! Say it with video!
Nerissa Oden

©2007 Nerissa Oden
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