20 November 2014

To The Moon

What do you see when you look at the moon?

We have all heard of, if not seen, the "Man in the Moon".  Some cultures have mythologized "him".

Even if you are the most hard-core rational empiricist, it's not hard to understand why people would see "him":  The lights and shadows, at times, do bear a resemblance to a face.

Modern psychology has confirmed something artists, poets and philosophers have long understood:  We are tend to find the familiar in the unfamiliar, to find meaning and shape in the seemingly-random and formless.  So it's really not so odd that someone might think, for example, that he or she has seen the face of Elvis in a potato chip.  This phenomenon is called pareidolia.

Thus, other cultures have myths that acribe a handprint (India), tree (Hawaii) and, yes, a woman (New Zealand).  And people in some East Asian cultures see a rabbit in the moon.

Somehow I always liked the idea of a rabbit in the moon.  Apparently, illustrator Claudia McGehee does, too.

I love this.  I'll love it no less if I find out she created it after watching E.T.

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