The storm raged outside and I distinctly remember peeking out from under the blankets and seeing lightening flashes lighting up the room. Then I saw it, a murder being committed. Not a real one of course, but on the wall of my room.
A street light provided a movie-like scene with the shadows of trees outside blowing in the wind. Almost miracuously the swirling dark shapes on the wall took on the action of a murder, a man stabbing a woman with a knife. It was terrible – so real. Closing my eys even now still invokes the scene. If it wasn’t for my mom responding to my bloodcurdling scream I don’t know what would have happened.
Isn’t it strange how our minds work? Simple shadows on the wall and we turn it in to a murder scene frightening the hell out of the very mind that created it in the first place. Now that’s one for the books. Talk about being scared of your own shadow and frightening ourselves with our own spooks. Sounds absurd. But that’s what we do and we’re pretty skilled at it.
It was a walk some weeks ago in a forest in the Drakensburg mountains that brought this childhood memory back. I was taking shots of flowers hidden in the grass, when suddenly I felt I was being watched. Ever had the feeling? I looked up, and there it was, a nightmarish shape in the tree kind of hanging over me. For a brief moment my mind ran wild. Suddenly I was that little boy peeking out from under the blankets at the bedroom wall. I just wanted to get out of there. Then sanity spoke – “MAN! IT’S JUST A FIR TREE.” and so, guess what? I took a shot of it. Here it is – scary, hey! Looks a bit like “Predator” the movie.
Now all this tells me something. If we can take shadows on the wall and turn them in to a murder, or see all sorts of frightening and ominous shapes in pine trees, can you imagine the possibilities if we just gazed at things with a little more positive and affirming energy. Why are we most imaginative and creative when we’re negative? Imagine turning that around. There’s no telling what may unfold.