“I’m Seeing Bunnies (Stroboscopic Hallucination)”

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I wrote a post on my Steemit blog a few days ago about seeing a giant rabbit hallucination while driving deliveries late one night. I had already drawn my "I'm Seeing Rabbits!!!" piece before posting that entry, but I wasn't sure which color variant I liked the best---but then it … (read more)

I wrote a post on my Steemit blog a few days ago about seeing a giant rabbit hallucination while driving deliveries late one night. I had already drawn my "I'm Seeing Rabbits!!!" piece before posting that entry, but I wasn't sure which color variant I liked the best---but then it hit me, I could combine several of them into one flashing, weird, image that would be really annoying and unpleasant!

PERFECT!!!

I'm fascinated by visual hallucinations. I've had several myself (none drug related), and I'm always fascinated when they happen.

The earliest that I can remember with any detail happened when I was about 11 or 12. I woke up one morning and thought I saw a bird flying around my room! It fluttered and swooped and then landed, SMACK, right on the wall...which was weird. I got out of bed, rubbed my eyes, and walked to the "bird," which I could still see through my bleary, sleepy eyes right there on the wall---and as I got closer, I realized it was, in fact, a small flyer for a local rollerskating rink that I'd taped to the wall some months before. This type of hallucination is called hypnopompia, and it occurs when you are just starting to wake up but are still partially asleep. You can take in visual information with your eyes (or ears or other senses), but that information is still INTERPRETED through the lens of dreams. It was a pretty cool thing to witness.

The next hallucination I want to talk about---this one is my favorite---happened during the day, on a warm, clear, sunny afternoon. I was driving my car down Florida Street (in Longview, Washington, USA---although this info doesn't really matter)...I was driving down the street, and I thought I saw a young, dark haired girl in a wedding dress standing in her lawn and waving at somebody. She was fairly tall, had shoulder length black hair, and was wearing a sort of old fashioned wedding dress, white, high cut, arms covered, and it sort of poofed out at the waist, like a big, inverted tea-cup. (I'm sure you've seen the kind of dress I mean...) As I drove further down the street, though, I realized that there WASN'T actually a girl standing there at all! What I was seeing was a sprinkler, one of those kind that shoots a fan of water up in the air and sort of pivots back and forth so the water covers the entire lawn...

HOW had I seen a girl in a wedding dress---to the point where I knew what her hair looked like and how her dress fit---when there wasn't a girl there at all??? Because I hadn't SEEN the water spraying from the fan very clearly, I'd just glimpsed it up, peripherally, ahead off to the side of the street, while I was focusing most of my attention on the road. Meanwhile, my BRAIN had taken in the limited visual information my eyes had picked up and tried to INTERPRET it, based on inadequate data, and the girl in the wedding dress is what my head imagined I'd glimpsed. That's how vision works---the brain does its best to form images based on the data collected by the eyes, but if the data is incomplete, and it has to GUESS, the brain just GUESSES!

Have you ever thought you'd seen someone you knew out of the corner of your eye, but when you turned to look at the person directly it just wasn't them! Same thing. Vision is weird...

And so, while I was driving a few nights ago, half drifting into a micro-sleep state, I caught a bit of glare on my dirty windshield from a street light that I was passing, and my brain interpreted that as GIANT GHOST RABBIT! (Maybe not everyone's brain would go there---but mine did.) So, the next morning, I drew these ghost bunnies floating over a weird, half-dreamscape road... And I think it looks pretty cool...

So let THAT be a lesson to you! (Or something...)

---Richard F. Yates (Holy Fool)

[P.S. - This image, or these images, where originally one drawing, made with colored Sharpie and silver paint pen on reclaimed cardboard, which I then photographed, tweaked, added some color manipulation to, and then kept a couple of the different color variations and compiled them into a gif using an online animated gif maker site. That's it! Pretty spooky, eh???]


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