With the return to Standard Time behind us, (finally adjusted, thank you) we get to be in “real time” for a few months. That is, before we get back to fooling our clocks again.
It’s a sort of mind trick we play, this one we do together. But it got me thinking about the many such fool-oneself-even-as-I-acknowledge-it-and-it-still-works sort of tricks we have come to accept.
See what I mean?^
Decorators call it trompe l‘oeil, or “deceive the eye” in French. Decorators must have figured that if you say it in French it sounds fancier and not quite as shady. An example of trompe l’oeil is when you paint a visual of a rug onto a wood floor, thus giving the feel that there is a rug exuding its beautiful pattern there. You tell yourself it is better than a real rug, because it will never crinkle or need moth treatment. Voila.
We all have our known illusions. Such as putting artificial sweeteners in our coffee, telling ourselves we are better without the calories and future diabetes, but hoping our tongues don’t notice. We celebrate various ribbons and trophies for our kids even when many are nothing more than participation awards. Writers have this peculiar habit of celebrating the oxymoron we call “a good rejection,” (that’s a personal praising of our writing replete with specific glowing comments about the enclosed story) but, alas, it’s a NO.
But perhaps the greatest illusion is that what is will always be. We know death is inevitable, but we pretend it isn't.
This is not a call to strip all illusions. I actually feel like celebrating them. I need mine.