Apr 7 2012

#343 “Envelope Art”

From Damien in Phoenix, Arizona

Sometimes the decorations and embellishments on the envelopes that find their way to WBS are just as intriguing as the artwork contained within them. Such is the case with this particular parcel from Damien. The illustration seems to show a Native American-inspired wolf whose travels have left him somewhat weary. Trekking all the way from Phoenix to Chattanooga is quite a journey, but our lupine warrior has arrived intact and has no doubt brought new life to the mail carriers who have handled this unique gift of wolf-themed art. In the end, I think that may be the reason why I so thoroughly enjoy envelope art: it allows all those who work in the mail delivering industry to share in the project as well and to experience the fruits of WBS first-hand. It’s a small gift of artwork freely shared for a job well done, and Lord knows… those people don’t hear “thank you” often enough in the course of their day. So thank you, Damien, for this incredible wolf. And thank you, mail carriers, for making sure it arrived in my p.o. box, safe and sound.

Apr 4 2012

#340 “Rawr!”

From Kelly in Phoenix, Arizona

“The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me,
He complains of my gab and my loitering.
I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric YAWP over the roofs of the world.”

- Walt Whitman
“Song of Myself”

Apr 3 2012

#339 “Space Oddity”

From GMR in Phoenix, Arizona

Since May 1st, 2011, probably as many as a dozen illustrations have been posted on this site which feature the image of a wolf in space or operating some type of flying vehicle. While at first this concept might strike the viewer as strange, it actually makes perfectly good sense. Just as man has for centuries peered into the deepest reaches of space and longed to test the boundaries of the universe, so too does the wolf seem to gaze up at the lonesome moon and cry out with a sort of wistful yearning. And while our hopes and dreams might not be tied together as intimately as we might imagine, the truth of the matter is that that bright, enticing orb which rules the nighttime sky calls to all of us in some mysterious way…

Mar 28 2012

#333 Music Month (28)

 From Paige in Phoenix, Arizona

Today’s Song/Video: “In the Year of the Wolf” by Motorhead

Nov 20 2011

#204 “I Guess He’d Rather be in Arizona”

From a stranger in Phoenix, Arizona or somewhere in Alaska

The whole notion of politics has always been a bit foreign to me. What I don’t know about policies, laws, legislatures, etc. could fill a book. Well, in fact, it could probably fill several books. I have no idea what the Alaska State Legislature would have done on March 15, 2011 or why there was no session that day. I also have no idea who the artist behind this intriguing piece is or where he/she is from. Obviously, most would think that the artist is from Alaksa and that he/she is employed somewhere in the political realm there. This was my guess at first, too, but when I studied the postmarks on the envelope, I saw that this package was shipped out of Phoenix, Arizona, and not from Alaska. The whole incident is truly mysterious.

I have spent quite a bit of time wracking my brain over this enigmatic situation, and overall I have come to realize that I will probably never know for certain who is behind this simple illustration. But this ok. This doesn’t concern me greatly because in my pondering, I dreamt up a scenario that is probably more pleasing than the truth, and that is just fine by me. The details of the story are a bit hazy in my mind, but I can clearly see a young dreamer who had grown up in priveleged America until he simply decided he could take no more structure and decided to pack his bags and move to Alaska. He wanted to take his life into his own hands. He wanted to breathe fresh air and leave the smog and commercialism of the big cities behind. He said goodbye to his friends and family. He promised to write, and then in a very exciting but much tamer style than Christopher McCandless, this young and free-spirited idealist moved to Alaska. Once there he quickly found work at an outfitters shop or something similar, and for several years he was content to walk upon the state’s unbeaten paths and gaze upon the fine scenery that Alaska had to offer. All in all he was satisfied with the simple life that he had established for himself. He was truly living his dream…

Then slowly but surely, like a blemish rising to the surface of his skin, a subtle but unmistakable doubt began to creep into his mind. He couldn’t quite place its origins. He certainly didn’t want to return to the cities of his youth, but a voice whispered fiendishly in his ear that he was wasting his life, that he was cut out for something greater, something more than just floating along aimlessly from day to day. The young man began to become involved in his local community; he took on projects and became a bit of an activist. He was happy again for a time with his new ventures, and he accomplished much. But then one thing led to another: a hobby became a job, a job became a career, and then a career became a cage. The man looked around him one day to find that he had aged ten years and that the silk tie around his neck really did feel like a noose, no matter how cliche it sounded. The second time it took much more effort than the first, but ultimately he found the strength within himself to start afresh for the second time in his life. He traded the cold winds of Alaska for the still, dry heat of Arizona. He hoped that this time he would find lasting peace. And who knows? Perhaps he will… Perhaps he did…

But once again this is all romanticized conjecture. Pure fantasy. In the end, I’m not even sure why I came up with all of this, but I think that it may lead back to a special affinity that I had in my youth for John Denver (which was instilled in me by my father) and his focus on the seemingly inherent need within all of us to seek refuge and rejuvenation in nature. One song in particular seems to fit well with this whole story. It’s called “I Guess He’d Rather be in Colorado.” Take a listen and see what you think…

Aug 5 2011

#97 “Frozen…”

From a stranger in Tuscon, Arizona

When it comes to this piece of art, the illustrator’s words say it all.
So poetic. So moving. So full of imagery.

I think you captured the spirit of this majestic wolf perfectly, my fair stranger. May your spirit echo for ages to come as well; I certainly know that images of this wolf and the words of your eloquent poetry will ring beautifully in my ears for quite some time.

Thank you for blessing us with your talent.