Quote for Today: Jerry Spinelli

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Paschimotanasana © Nina Mel with CCLicense Paschimotanasana
© Nina Mel with CCLicense

It’s in the morning, for most of us. It’s that time, those few seconds, when we’re coming out of sleep but we’re not really awake yet. For those few seconds we’re something more primitive than what we are about to become. We have just slept the sleep of our most distant ancestors, and something of them and their world still clings to us. For those few moments we are unformed, uncivilized. We are not the people we know as ourselves, but creatures more in tune with a tree than a keyboard. We are untitled, unnamed, natural, suspended between was and will be, the tadpole before the frog, the worm before the butterfly. We are for a few brief moments, anything and everything we could be. And then… and then– ah– we open our eyes and the day is before us and… we become ourselves.

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Creating from Nightmare: H.R. Giger’s Biomechanics and Alien

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The arts attempt to convey visions and concepts from one mind to another. Is there value in translating nightmare?

© Ars Electronica with CCLicense H.R. Giger Gigapixelpicture © Ars Electronica in accordance with Fair Use Policy

A brain is only capable of what it could conceive, and it couldn’t conceive what it hasn’t experienced.

Graham GreeneBrighton Rock

Biomechanical Landscape image © dreamside with CCLicense H.R. Giger, Biomechanical Landscape
image © dreamside in accordance with Fair Use Policy

Everyone experiences at some point the fearful awakening from nightmare: the unelicited scream, the chest tight with overabundance of breath, the sudden jolt into consciousness. Whether the dream recoils quickly into oblivion or haunts us for hours or days, we know it has power over us, at least when we are asleep. Some artists are given to exploring their nightmares and fleshing out what lies there. The attempt to share fear, whether to amplify or dilute it, to bring others to a…

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Quote for Today: Guillermo del Toro

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In fairy tales, monsters exist to be a manifestation of something that we need to understand, not only a problem we need to overcome, but also they need to represent, much like angels represent the beautiful, pure, eternal side of the human spirit, monsters need to represent a more tangible, more mortal side of being human: aging, decay, darkness and so forth. And I believe that monsters originally, when we were cavemen and you know, sitting around a fire, we needed to explain the birth of the sun and the death of the moon and the phases of the moon and rain and thunder. And we invented creatures that made sense of the world: a serpent that ate the sun, a creature that ate the moon, a man in the moon living there, things like that. And as we became more and more sophisticated and created sort of a social…

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Between Wildness and Domestication: Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

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Humans are fascinated by wildness, but interaction with humans changes a wild animal permanently. Where do such animals find a home?

WMS 2013 04 27 BALTO Relaxed

Tonya Littlewolf runs Wolf Mountain Sanctuary in Lucerne Valley, located in the southern Mojave Desert in California. She makes a home here for wolves whose lives have been threatened by humans. Most have been raised as pets, only to be discarded when they grew too big, too hard to control and too expensive to feed. A wolf that has lived with humans does not become a tame dog, neither is that animal wild anymore. These wolves, if released from their sanctuary, would approach humans in search of food. Sooner or later, that kind of behavior will get an animal killed, especially a large predator that stirs a mythological fear in human beings.

Born in New Mexico of Chiricahua Mescalero Apache and Sicilian heritage, Tonya was introduced to wild animals…

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Quote for Today: Susan Griffin

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She was a normal wild beast, whose power is dangerous, whose anger can kill, they had said. Be more careful of her, they advised. Allow her less excitement. Perhaps let her exercise more. She understood none of this. She understood only the look of fear in her keeper’s eyes. And now she paces. Paces as if she were angry, as if she were on the edge of frenzy. The spectators imagine she is going through the movements of the hunt, or that she is readying her body for survival. But she knows no life outside the garden. She has no notion of anger over what she could have been, or might be. No idea of rebellion.
It is only her body that knows of these things, moving her, daily, hourly, back and forth, back and forth, before the bars of her cage.
Susan Griffin, Woman and Nature: The…

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Rooted in Loneliness: Thoughts on Ray Bradbury’s The Fog Horn

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Art, like life, relies on communication. What happens when empathy fails and we are struck by how unintelligible we are? Sometimes it seems that the only thing we can share is loneliness itself.

409660_23b2cb16 © John Mavin with CCLicense

One day many years ago a man walked along and stood in the sound of the ocean on a cold sunless shore and said, “We need a voice to call across the water, to warn ships; I’ll make one. I’ll make a voice like all of time and all of the fog that ever was; I’ll make a voice that is like an empty bed beside you all night long, and like an empty house when you open the door, and like trees in autumn with no leaves. A sound like the birds flying south, crying, and a sound like November wind and the sea on the hard, cold shore. I’ll make…

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Animal Images, Inspiration from Nature, Part Two

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Human beings have strong identifications, both positive and negative, with animals. What do our natural responses tell us about ourselves?

Wolf © Sue Coccia Wolf
© Sue Coccia

What follows is a gallery of art selected from the output of three outstanding artists, Sue Coccia, Athena Jahantigh and Rex Homan. I selected them not only because of their imaginative artwork, but because these artists also have great connections to native traditions. Clicking on the name of the artist will take you to their website. An internet search will turn up plenty of sites that explain what certain animals mean, but they can’t always interpret what they hold for you. If you are interested in the archetypal significance an image has held over time, which is fascinating, this website on totems and animal symbolism provides good content without being too definitive.

All images are used in accordance with Fair Use Policy for analytical and educational purposes. The links in the captions below…

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