Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Deception of Perception

I recently attended a woodcarving class at The Orchid Tree Park and Gallery given by visiting artist Stone Akin.

To kick things off the first morning Stone asked each one of us to tell something of our background then describe ourselves as if he were blind.

Not done yet, but so far I haven't needed the band-aid!

With six of us in the class there was an 83.3% chance that someone else would be called on first; but that's not what happened. My 16.6% came through in spades (Probably should have bought a lottery ticket!) and I was first up. . .

Which didn't give me a whole lot of time to contemplate describing myself to a blind man, but it was enough to wonder which description I should give. The one the mirror (mis)represents or the perception I have of myself from here on the inside looking out?

Oh I know from the occasional unavoidable glimpse of cruel reflection just how the world really perceives me. Wrinkled enough to be an antique, old enough to be a fuddy, worn enough to be a duddy, and just when the hell did I get so round all over?!!

But that's not the real me!! You see, depending on the day, the real me is somewhere between 17 and, oh, say 35. My shoulders are broad and square, my eyes piercing and captivating, I'm cut and chiseled and am packin' a six-pack. (OK, OK, so it's more like a four-pack of those little miniature wines, but I'm packin' dammit!) I can sling half my weight from ground to shoulder without danger of busting a gut or my back sounding like a collapsing beer can. I can stop and enjoy a turn of leg without coming across as creepy or lecherous and my equipment works just fine without any help from the blue.

In short, all the men want to be me and all the women want to be with me. . . But you'll have to excuse me for a few minutes ladies. I just picked up a sack of deer corn and I think my left testicle has rolled under the bandsaw. . .