Even though I stitch onto rubber almost every day, I find that some days I just want to play.
My playground/playthings = Sketchbook, magazines, scissors, glue and ink = making monsters!
The blink of an eye takes roughly 84 milliseconds. Within half that time, according to studies of perceptual illusions and false memories, you can tap the darkness within and conjure monsters for yourself.
Pictures and words – whether printed or orally transmitted – can serve as priming stimuli too. As members of a social species constantly transmitting ideas in the form of words and pictures, each of us is perpetually primed by cultural metaphor to know just what to do with primitive fears when they are triggered – we make monsters.
Point is, midnight visits to graveyards aren’t required for conjuring monsters. They are always with us, permanently stored in our brains as a form of false memory deposited for future use by the priming stimuli of our culture.
There is a perceptual underpinning to why, once triggered and thereby invited to come out and play, the monsters of our mind so often end up ruling the day – or at least dominating our thoughts and feelings for a time.
The phenomenon is called boundary extension, and it is strongly associated with false memory.
Show a person a picture in which only a portion of a house is visible, and the mind will construct a mental picture of what the rest of the house might look like. In other words, we extend the boundaries of what we see until it matches our culturally learned expectation of whatever a thing is supposed to look like.
“(What fabrications they are, mothers. Scarecrows, wax dolls for us to stick pins into, crude diagrams. We deny them an existence of their own, we make them up to suit ourselves — our own hungers, our own wishes, our own deficiencies. Now that I’ve been one myself, I know.)”
― Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin