Continuing last Fridays’ musings on perception – wiring and plasticity of the visual system and moments of epiphany – I thought of my affinity (above) and my special moments prompted by coastlines.
Putting aside my book and looking down into the gleaming shoreline of a Great Lake, I exploded in ecstasy, immediately followed by fear that the intensity of my emotion meant that I was no longer a mortal human in a plane flying from Boston to Detroit.
My Jadebusen experience was also triggered by surprise when, again looking up from my book, I discovered that the plane from Amsterdam to Bremen took the unusual route of flying over my home bay. This time, I greeted the sunny coast line of my childhood feeling a warm glow of recognition.
Walking along dykes as child, I must have wired myself for the patterning of coastlines.
Continuing in this self-analysis, enjoying wildflowers on grassy dykes, I wired myself for loving meadows rather than the exuberance of flowering gardens. Looking at my grandfather’s apple tree, I wired myself for appreciating apple orchards.
I haven’ t figured out my affinity for mountains. A scientist might think that my genetic heritage was adapted to the mountaineous homelands of my ancestors. A yogi might think of past life experiences. Or perhaps, I simply experience mountains as painted coastlines in the sky?
Gross visual plasticity is terminated early through the maturation of inhibitory neurons. Yet, there appears to be later learning with regard to perception as D. found out when he focused on a full and compact right ear.
My two epiphanies were triggered by unexpected sights related to coastlines. It seems fitting that Augenblick is the German word for ‘moment’, literally translated as ‘look of eye’.
How does an artist reaches our spirit given our selective imprintings?