I’ve often idly wondered what would happen if a gigantic hand reached down out of the clouds above Seattle and pulled the Space Needle up from its roots. Sometimes when we’re standing overlooking I-5 and Lake Union below, Queen Anne across the lake spread out like a tawdry wench, I think about giant hands.
“There would be mass chaos,” my soulmate says. “Anarchy. Screaming. Martial law.”
I can’t really imagine the aftermath of a giant hand reaching down out of the clouds. I think of it as a mystical thing. Magic. Like the boom-boom-boom sound I heard from my front yard when I was 3, convinced there was a giant on its way to my house to eat me. I hid under my bed for hours and no one ever came looking for me. But a giant hand? That feels friendly somehow. Comforting. I think people would feel better if they thought there really was some guy up there in the clouds looking after us, even if he did take away the Space Needle.
Sometimes I hear airplanes, too, and wonder what would happen if they suddenly began strafing the people sunning over there on the hill of Gasworks Park. I don’t think about the blood or the dead bodies or anything, nothing like that. Just the sound of the shots and the shocked, surprised faces of the people expecting an airplane just to bank over the hill and land there at the airport.
And then sometimes I wonder what would happen if someone up on a bridge over the freeway just tumbles over the side. I don’t think about windshields shattering or blood or ambulances or the poor guy’s grieving family, but in my mind I can see a body just dropping over the side of the bridge, falling, and cars swerving. I would swerve.
This is part of a 30-day foray into the art of ekphrasis, or writing from art. What you read today was 10 minutes of unedited writing from the hand image you see. Each day I will choose a new image and write for 10 minutes using the image as a starting place. I call the category Phantasm, which according to my dictionary is a figment of the imagination; an illusion or apparition, or archaic, an illusory likeness of something.