Monday, February 7, 2011

Seeing things


Masks intrigue me. They can be beautiful, terrifying, mysterious and powerful.
I found this nature-made little mask on the rocky shores of Dana Point. Does it not look like a predatory bird?

I know it's a little airy-fairy of me to believe in signs and portents, but when I discover something unusual like this I imagine the hand of Fate, the presence of guardians or, at the very least, good luck in the finding.



People, of course, have long made masks of animals and birds into which are woven stories of creation and moral beliefs. The creatures are given qualities that have become symbols, so that even in our own writing, we may use an owl to signify wisdom, intuition, mystery or protection. A hawk is sometimes seen as a messenger, a bringer of visions and of intense energy.
Any time I hear the raspy scream of a hawk overhead, I look up, feeling a surge of energy. I've watched them swirl and glide and swoop but also seen single hawks hang without moving, as if suspended in space. Watching, I experience.



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This is another view of the sea-borne mask.
Perhaps, it would fit a leprechaun or a tallish fairy. Perhaps. I'll wear it in my dreams and soar high and far.
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On a boulder, I saw a fading pink rose held down by a small rock. There's a story behind that; we are free to make up our own.
A snowy egret fished the dark tide pools.

I let my tennies get wet to get this shot. I wanted to be part of the surging sea as the sun disappeared. To take a bit of magic home with me.
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40 comments:

Misha said...

I like the mask and can see a tall fairy wearing it to a party.

The sunset is gorgeous.

:-)

Donna said...

Cool mask for your tallish fairy and a lovely sunset for your. Definitely signs.

Laurel Garver said...

Thanks for bringing a bit of beach, sun and magic to my chilly February morning.

I love the idea of a mask that makes you soar when you it strap on. That would make a fabulous short story!

Amanda said...

Beautiful pics! I'm a bit fairy-airy myself. I love to find those hidden treasures in nature that seem to be put in my path by Fate. ;)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Misha: Ooooo, yes, wouldn't a fairy be mysterious wearing it to a party.

Donna: Signs make me happy. Hope, I guess, is what it is.

Laurel: You're quite welcome! Glad to send what I can your way. I get the feeling this mask is full of story potential. :D

Amanda: Thanks and so happy to find someone else who shares my airy! ;)

Nicole MacDonald said...

I'll join the airy-fairy group - and that is a freaky mask! Looks like the Greenman's mask

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The Golden Eagle said...

That's a cool mask. :)

Bish Denham said...

Neat find! I see a gnome wearing it at a masked ball. Romeo looking for his Juliet.

Hawks visit our birdfeeder, its their fly-through diner. Things get veeeeerry quiet after a visit.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I like the mask- it instantly reminded me of African tribal dances.

We have two jaguar masks from Guatemala on our walls. I just love them!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Nicole: It does look like a Greenman!!! :D

GoldenEagle: *grins*

Bish: Oooo, now we've got a plot to go with the mask.
Oh, dear, on the birdfeeder. Hawk's gotta eat, but I'd rather it wasn't at the birdfeeder. I had a huntress cat once who could leap in the air and catch birds arriving at the feeder. Not good.

Stephanie: I'd love to see your jaguar masks. I bet they're awesome.

Phoenix said...

Love this. I really believe, in my heart, that the universe is whimsical, mischievous, and loves to play (and loves those who do.) The world is much kinder to those of us who make up stories, who worship sunsets, who find faeries in gardens and masks washed up upon the shores. We are the ones who belong here most.

Wen Baragrey said...

That is just so darn cool! Isn't it amazing how sometimes nature makes something so perfect. Actually, nature always makes things so perfect!

Jules said...

My favorite part of visiting the beach are the treasures it un-bears to us. Very cool mask and your imagination :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

jbchicoine said...

The seaside has so much to offer. I miss finding all sorts of shapes and intricacies, things living and, well, used to be living (sometimes those are the best finds). Since I can't be near the water right now, I appreciate your sharing such finds!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Tracy: Aw, that made me teary. I believe we make our magic when we're open to it.

Wen: It was perfect for me, for sure! And, yeah, nature's had a loooong time to get it right. Hasn't taken us long, tho, to mess with it. *sigh*

Jules: There are so many treasures all around us. I love where imagination leads. :)

Bridget: I'm so happy to bring you the sea and the wonders it washes up.

Jemi Fraser said...

You certainly did bring the magic home - and shared it with us. My mind turned immediately to elves when I saw the mask.

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

Gorgeous photographs, Tricia :)

Suzanne Casamento said...

I don't think it's airy fairy at all to believe in signs or portents. I think there's a problem if you don't. ;)

Love the part about wanting to take the magic home with you.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Jemi: :D :D

Wendy: Thank you!

Suzanne: *grins* And I did bring it home. Feeling magic all around.

Judy Croome said...

Oh very definitely it looks like a bird mask; something from the Inca or Mayan ritual ceremonies!

Isn't nature amazing?

Judy (South Africa)

VR Barkowski said...

Masks fascinate me, too. Like doors, you can never be sure what's on the other side. How can that not intrigue? Okay, so I'm naturally nosy. :)

Yes, a Greenman, definitely. Nature never ceases to astound. Beautiful.

Paul C said...

How imaginative. I like exploring for driftwood on northern lakes with the same intent.

Mark Noce said...

Cool, what's it made of? It should definitely go on your wall:)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Judy: Inca! Maya! I love that everybody is seeing different influences--and to think the only hand in it is the sea.

Viva: Yes, it's the intrigue, the mystery, the slightly dangerous, isn't it? Another vote for Greenman!

PaulC: I try to keep my eyes open for anything unusual whenever I walk. It keeps the wonder alive.

Mark: I don't know what it is. It's plant matter, like roots, but I'm not sure if it's kelp or another sea growth. However it began, the sea carved it into its current shape.

Tere Kirkland said...

I vote Greenman! But I love how open to interpretation it is.

Hubby and I always play a game where we look for faces in things. Surprising how many you can find, and how they change based on the way your eye perceives it.

Thanks for the pics, Tricia, I always love them so much!

Solvang Sherrie said...

That is the coolest mask! I love finding stuff like that on the beach.

Corey Schwartz said...

Wow! I need to visit an island... ASAP!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

love that, "take a bit home with me"

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Tere: It is so weird how perception can be altered (no wonder there are so many unreliable eyewitnesses). I'm so glad there are people like you who enjoy my little finds!

Sherrie: I about swooned when I saw it washed up with other stuff on the rocky shore. I wanted to shout out, "Look!" But I took photos so everybody could look. :)

Corey: You do need to get your scuba fix after this hard winter!

TerryLynn: :D

Medeia Sharif said...

I love that mask. I haven't found anything that beautiful on the beach where I am.

Talli Roland said...

What a fantastic mask! There is something so magical and otherwordly about things from the sea, isn't there?

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Medeia: I thought it was pretty extraordinary myself. Glad you like it!

Talli: It's gotta be the mystery of the ocean, don't you think? We can't usually see what's under that huge expanse and when we do it's amazing.

Robyn Campbell said...

Excellent pics. You ROCK ALL the time. Man!

In case you didn't know, I am leprechaun. You've heard of I am woman, right?

You make me jealous with all the sea treasures you find and the photos you get to take. *turning green* Gorgeous, girlfriend.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Def a fairy mask. I pictured one watching you from behind a boulder while you took pictures of it. :)

Yay for magic.

Paul Greci said...

I love that mask. And, I love hearing red-tail hawks screaming overhead!! And that last photo was well worth getting your tennies wet for. Thanks!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Robyn: Green is a gorgeous color. ;)

Karen: Ha! I should've checked behind the rocks...

PaulG: Thank you! I confess to having a thing about hawks. They captivate me.

Linda Kage said...

Love the pictures. To me, it looks like a grumpy litle man who has a whacked-out hairdo.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Linda: Hi! I love that people are seeing different faces.

Catherine Denton said...

Beautiful!! There is something quite magical about that mask.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Catherine: I'm so excited that other people see the magic in it, too!