If you think your moods don't affect your perceptions, here are some examples of how my own reality is colored by how I feel on a given day.
     If I'm hungry during one of my beach walks, It's amazing how many things will remind me of food. The sun is an egg yolk. The long, thin sea grass, which lies coiled in heaps upon the sand, looks like cooked spinach spaghetti. Clam and oyster shells remind me of an oyster bar. The overcast sky is like a dimly-lit restaurant and a few puffy white clouds are whipped cream.
     Kelp bulbs broil in the sun. Tiny crabs that scurry over the sand will grow into delicious Dungeness crabs. Kelp is the color of Dijon mustard.
     See what I mean!
     Now let's say I'm in a sad mood, disappointed perhaps that a book event has been cancelled. I now notice things I did not pay attention to before: bird droppings, litter, the patches of blackened sand, broken seashells smashed by uncaring people, dilapidated houses lining the beach, seaweed being attacked by sandflies, rocks as splintered as my hopes.
     Want more? How about suffocating humidity, lonely cliffs,  a solitary seagull staring straight ahead, palm trees with scorched leaves, an abandoned plastic shovel, murky algae, smelly kelp, piercing wind, wavelets collapsing on the beach.
     What if I'm feeling frustrated? Recently, I forgot to bring my hat to the beach and was utterly annoyed. After only a few minutes, I felt the intensity of the burning sunrays on my face and worried that I might get a bad sunburn without my protective hat.
     The wind started to blow in strong gusts. My new hairstyle was replaced by a tangled, disheveled mess.
     I never see anyone I know during my frequent walks. But, of course, now I did. And who was it? A well-known book agent. He would not have recognized me if I had remembered to wear my large canvas hat.
     Then, when I had just decided nothing else could go wrong, I looked up at a line of seagulls flying directly over my head.
     I really should have worn my hat.



Beth Giordanni
01/13/2014 6:08pm

After reading this blog, I firmly resolve to wear my hat next time I go for a walk at the beach. Again, you had me laughing long and hard. Thanks for your entertaining stories.

Frank Stevenson
03/04/2014 4:21pm

This just goes to demonstrate how one person's reality is not always the same as another's---even when they are in the same place at the same time.

05/19/2014 5:12am

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