I leaned over the railing, looked down into the shallows, and couldn’t help but notice that rays of reflected light, bouncing off the surface, and those of transmitted light playing among irregularities within the creek bed, interacted chaotically to give the impression that the surface of the water was tessellated. The effect was mesmerizing. I was surprised to learn,  many years ago, that the verb mesmerize was derived from the name of the German physician Franz Mesmer who believed that magnetic energies moved freely between the living and the nonliving. It was the balance between and among these energies that Mesmer believed he could adjust (via the act of mesmerization) and thereby restore good health to his patients. The human expression of these forces was called Animal Magnetism.  Perhaps, if I had tarried at the railing, the effects of mesmerization might have been realized. As it was the spell was broken by the call of afternoon chores … the animals needed to be fed as did the wood stove, our only source of heat at this time of year.

12 thoughts on “Mesmerizing

    • Around here it’s strictly oak. We heat exclusively with wood. We’ve got a very large unit in the living room and a cook stove in the kitchen. We discovered, long ago, that homeowner’s insurance could not be had unless there was some ‘permanent’ source of heat in the house – so we have what we consider to be be a backup source of heat in the basement which takes the form of a propane furnace (it’s been on twice in the last decade!). There is no heat on the second floor – and it is warmed via convection (through three floor vents). This season has been particularly mild thus far and we’ve only had the big stove on three or four times – the cook stove has taken care of most of our heating needs. Thanks for all your comments today Maurice! All are appreciated. D

    • Hi outsideauthority. Have you ever seen that famous line drawing which looks to some folks like a profile view of an elderly woman … and to others like a profile view of a younger woman? Here’s a link Now, after reading your comment, I can see the coals that you were able to visualize. Isn’t the brain an amazing thing? Thanks for taking the time to jot down your observation. Have a great day. D

      • Isn’t it funny how different people see different things in that image? I see the old hag … takes one to know one.

  1. Before I read this post, I thought you had posted a close-up of one or another reptile! All your shots are so clear and clean looking. Not sure who deserves the credit … you or the camera! 🙂

  2. Gorgeous! My vague memory of Dr. Mesmer is slightly different in that it involves him sending ladies into fits of hysteria. Perhaps he himself was mesmerizing 🙂 The photograph looks like a beautiful array of cells!

    • Yup … I’m guessing that he had quite the way with the ladies, especially the ones of high society and deep pockets! Ah … to have practiced in the 18th century.

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