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    #1

    The "face" of a lake

    A newspaper reader describes how beautiful a certain lake is. She tells us that "The view of the lake itself was mesmerizing."

    She then tells us that tribal legend warned that "bad luck would come to anyone who looked on the face of the [sacred] lake."

    What is the "face" of a lake? Is it possible to look at a lake WITHOUT looking at its "face"?

    (P.S. The writer tells us that after she left the lake, she became very sick and stayed that way for several years. She now pays "attention to tribal legends.")



    Thank you


    Source: "Travel" section, the Los Angeles Times, August 9, 2015.

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    #2

    Re: The "face" of a lake

    Not a teacher

    "The Face of the Lake" means "The Surface of the Lake". So I think it is not possible to look at a lake without looking at its face.

  1. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The "face" of a lake

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    A newspaper reader describes how beautiful a certain lake is. She tells us that "The view of the lake itself was mesmerizing."

    She then tells us that tribal legend warned that "bad luck would come to anyone who looked on the face of the [sacred] lake."

    What is the "face" of a lake? Is it possible to look at a lake WITHOUT looking at its "face"?

    (P.S. The writer tells us that after she left the lake, she became very sick and stayed that way for several years. She now pays "attention to tribal legends.")
    I think in legend this is usually done for dramatic effect. The "face" of the lake, as Johnyxxx has said in literal terms, is the surface of the lake, but using that word also personifies the lake, giving it a more human, or ghostly, quality.

    The tribal legend mentions that the Spirit of Above and the Spirit of Below battled, with the Spirit of Above finally collapsing the top of the mountain down upon his foe, burying him in the underworld. He then decided to cover it with clear water as a sign of everlasting peace [a bit like the rainbow in the bible]. However, the Spirit of Below still existed in the cinder cone in the lake called Wizard Island. http://weekinweird.com/2013/03/14/cr...story-mystery/ (5th paragraph).

    So, I suppose looking at the lake would be seen as looking into the "face" of evil, which could only result in bad things happening to you [a bit like looking into the face of Medusa]. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medusa

    Therefore, it's not possible to look at the lake without looking at it's face, and so you must avert your gaze from any part of it at all costs.

    That's what it appears to mean to me.



    Last edited by Eckaslike; 09-Aug-2015 at 17:06.

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