It’s All In The Cloud – Keep on Looking – and Seeing

In the Cloud: Do keep on looking and seeing ‘things’ in the clouds – you could be at a lot worse – and it’ll stop you looking down. Photograph:John Reidy 2-2-2023
Local teenager, Kathleen Quilligan touches the ‘Rathkeale Miracle’ after Mass on a Saturday evening during the height of the visitor frenzy around the tree stump in the church grounds. ©Photograph: John Reidy 11-7-2009

Everything that can be, it seems, is in ‘The Cloud’ these days. I was in my shed last night and painting stuff and I stepped out to take the night air and enjoy the filling moon.

Then I noticed the partial face in the cloud and the fón póca came to the rescue.

There are times when cloud watchers can see the most amazing reflection or recreations of life here on earth. Animal shapes, sea and mountain scapes all make fleeting appearances among the clouds strewn across that most amazing screen in the sky.

Sent to Rathkeale

I remember being sent to the local church in Rathkeale some years ago and getting there and finding a group of people kneeling and genuflecting around the stump of a tree and believing that the remains of the tree and its shape was a manifestation of the Blessed Virgin.

There were people from miles around and I wasn’t the only one there from the press as The Irish Times religious correspondent, Patsy McGarry had also been dispatched by his paper to cover the story.

A Blessing or a Curse

The blessing or the curse of seeing faces in ‘things’ around us, above or below us was once considered exclusively a symptom of psychosis – and it has a name, pareidolia and it’s now recognised as part of the normal human experience.

In particular, our brains have evolved to detect faces quickly, which explains the human tendency to see faces everywhere, including in inanimate objects like electrical sockets or slices of toast and so on.

But do keep looking and seeing those faces – you could be at a lot worse.

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