Coffee Shop Pop Psychoanalysis

I’ve blogged previously about my ongoing battle with fountain pens. As a Scotsman I knew once said, “It’s a sair ficht.” While he was referring to the daily struggle between the ways of the flesh and the ways of the spirit, I feel, in microcosm, so is the Way of the Fountain Pen for me. I love the romantic icon of the fountain pen, but for as long as I can remember it has only loved to scratch holes in my paper and (somehow) put ink in and around my mouth.

Rorschach and CoffeeOur most recent skirmish was held this morning in a local coffee shop as I tried to do some journaling. Thankfully, I was prepared with several squares of scrap paper on which to get the pen working before damaging my journal. Nevertheless, Stanley (yes, my pens do have names) was channelling Hermann Rorschach — so not much journaling was done. I obligingly embraced the opportunity to do a spot of coffee-shop psychoanalysis, folded the papers in half over Stanley’s leaked blobs to see what could be found. What do you see in these, I wonder?

(Add your answers in the comments – but don’t look there until you’ve decided what you see; and don’t overthink it!)

Rorschach 1

Rorschach 1

Rorschach 2

Rorschach 2

Rorschach 3

Rorschach 3

Rorschach 4

Rorschach 4

Rorschach 5

Rorschach 5

Rorschach 6

Rorschach 6

A couple of these are absolutely startling. to my mind (it’s that first one that blows me away). Of course the reason our minds are so quick to see things in these ink blots has something to do with the fact that they are fractal (so they inevitably resemble the forms that occur in nature) and the fact that we are fundamentally wired to try to interpret sensory input. That what we see varies from person to person, supposedly indicates differences in our state of mind, our habits of thought or perception.

I just think they are fun to play with.

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3 Responses

  1. You’re right—that first one is amazing! The first thing I saw in it was two men leaning in towards one another, as if they’re playing chess or something. (Both look kind of like barbarians with pony tails.) On my second look, I was startled that I hadn’t already seen the face in the middle, staring straight back at me! Love it.

    • Yeah – I’ll admit I had a couple of young fauns playing chess at first (you can see their hairy breeks and hooves) – I saw the face later. I might do some more of these – they are fun.

  2. Lots of people said “Jesus” for number 5. All I could see was Elvis (like a gorilla dressed as Elvis, perhaps). Then I realised they meant a ‘face’ of Jesus and saw what they meant – freakish though!

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