Jan 17 2012

#262 Less is More (17)

From Ulla in Finland

Many people can boast about receiving a few Christmas cards from close friends, but how many can say that they received one from a stranger half way around the world? Thank you, Ulla. I hope this new is full of blessings for you. (For more information about the manufacturer of this card and its accompany artwork, visit amusantti.fi)

“Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways
it can change someone else’s life forever.”

~ Margaret Cho


Dec 25 2011

#239 “Merry X-Mas!”


From Frank at the University of Missouri

A special thanks is in order to Frank for knowing that just such a wolf would be necessary to celebrate this Christmas day. I think it would be only appropriate to let his work take center stage on such a special occasion. And s0, I will simply leave you with a small Christmas blessing and a link to a wonderful story that is very fitting for this special day and special illustration.

May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.

Please enjoy Daniel Pinkwater reading his Christmas tale entitled “Christmas Wolf” on Weekend Edition from NPR News by clicking hereMaybe it will even become a new Christmas tradition… 

Dec 24 2011

#238 “Nightmare Before Christmas”

From RG in Marietta, Georgia

Visions of sugar plums? Ha! None of that nonsense tonight! Feast your eyes on the nightmare fuel that will haunt your dreams this Christmas Eve. Since holiday cheer is in abundance on every street corner, I have decided to dedicate today’s post to creating a haven of darkness from the gaiety of the season. With this fearsome beast on hand, no one is safe this Christmas Eve. So… if you hear a scratching on your rooftop or see ashy flakes drifting down through the chimney, it may not be dear old Santa that has come to fill your stockings with goodies. It may just be this savage beast, slinking into your home to devour you whole. But what is even scarier might be the idea that this wolf is actually Santa, himself. Is Santa Claus a werewolf? The idea might sound ridiculous, but it’s no sillier than the original concept of a man who flies around on reindeer-guided sleigh, etc., etc. If anything, the idea of a werewolf sounds much more plausible. And who knows, sharing this with your children may even result in better behavior next year…

So… try leaving out a plate of raw meat instead of cookies tonight. And while you’re at it, enjoy this song by Creepersin called “Lycanthropy.” Sleep tight!

Dec 4 2011

#218 “Patience”

From John at the University of Missouri

Patience truly is a virtue, and no one knows that better than John. While I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, John has been patiently waiting for his illustrations to appear on wolvesbystrangers.com for 218 days, that’s basically every single day since website has been in existence. And if you want to get technical about it, seeing as how he submitted these illustrations several days before the website was even launched, he has actually been waiting for 240 days. I sometimes lose my cool when the drive-thru line has more than 3 cars in it! To have the dogged patience and sense of perseverance that John possesses… what a blessing that would be. What a lesson can be learned here. What an example has been set.

But also, I must say to the viewing audience that I think these pieces have been worth the wait. They seem to represent a spontaneity and impulsiveness that is certainly a key to the success of this project. Contained within these simple lines is an excited willingness to participate in something new and something unusual and a zealous thirst for life that cannot be quenched. But another feature of these illustrations that truly touches my heart is the sincerity and selflessness of their construction. As I said earlier, wolvesbystrangers.com had not been launched when John submitted these illustrations to me, therefore he could have no real desire for recognition and no expectations of attention being drawn to himself based on his participation. He was simply doing a favor for a stranger who has hopefully now become a friend. It was a strange favor, yes indeed, but that didn’t matter to John. He didn’t feel that it was his place to judge. He simply obliged the request with love and goodwill, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Turning to the illustrations, themselves, one will notice wolf-related themes that run the gamut of those typically presented by the Wolves by Strangers project. The first illustration seems to reference this project’s mysterious and enigmatic aspects. Just as my identity is still unknown to most, John’s first submission to the project was one that played upon the ideas of secrets and riddling. The second illustration, which pictures a smiling wolf, is no doubt an allusion to the joy that this project brings not only to me but also to those who participate. While the concept might sound a bit unorthodox at first, participation in WBS is sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face. The third picture is significant because of its topical nature. With the holidays upon us, what better time would there be to display this seasonally relevant illustration of a wolf and a snowman reveling in the inherent joys of Christmas time. And finally, no small collection of lupine artwork would be complete without some reference to the wolf as a predator or natural combatant. This last illustration places the wolf back into his natural environment of the competitive wild, where he is forced to feast upon others for his own survival. It’s predator vs. prey in this simple illustration that explores the true nature of survival.

In closing, I’d just like to say again that I appreciate John’s patience and that I hope this post has been worth his wait. Thanks again, John. Best wishes!