Oct 15 2011

#168 “Tonight we are brothers!”

From Kane

Often times, the breaking down of boundaries can be a beautiful and inspiring experience. In many ways, the only thing more electrifying is perhaps when multiple walls come tumbling down in unison, creating room for new relationships, new connections, and new bonds. When the chains and fetters that bind the hearts and minds of those trapped behind walls of narrow-mindedness are torn apart and destroyed forever, there’s no telling what we may accomplish.

The motivational picture that is up for public viewing today is just the type of work that possesses this magnificent power, for the work seems to break through artistic as well as thematic boundaries. Artistically, this piece is wonderfully textured and beautifully colored; it possesses a tangible quality of familiarity in its cartoon-like presentation, but it is also artful, delicate, and precise. In the simplest terms, it takes the idea of a “cartoon” to a whole new level and pushes the envelope in terms of the amount of skill that is expected from a traditional comic.

Also, though, this artist is savvy enough to capture a specific moment in time and draw out a universal theme of unity for the ages. Regardless of your nationality, race, or religious preference, this picture urges each of us to take advantage of every possible moment to form bonds of unity and brotherhood. We all know that in the real world conflict is unavoidable at times, but to neglect any opportunity for fellowship and the friendships that can develop from it is a waste indeed.

I will leave you now with the words of the artist that accompany this piece so well:

“Tomorrow we fight, tomorrow we kill each other, tomorrow we are sworn enemies. But tonight we are friends, tonight we are brothers, tonight we drink! Prost!”

Yes, Kane. Cheers, indeed!

 


Oct 14 2011

#167 “You can’t fight true love”

From Emily in Signal Mountain, Tennessee

A few days ago…

I stood just inside the doorway to our kitchen, next to the counter where I always drop my keys and wallet as I come in from work. Carefully, I opened the large manilla envelope with a small carving knife and slid out the picture, paying special attention not to tear or even crease it. At that same moment I heard the back door open again as my wife walked inside. She settled her purse in its usual spot on the counter, walked up behind me, and wrapped her hands around my waist. Placing her chin on my shoulder and peering over, she asked, “What’s that? Another picture?”

Somewhat absently, without even looking up, I muttered, “Yeah, I just got it today.”

“Oh. That’s cool. What do you think it means?”

“I’m not sure,” I said. “I guess it means… Well, I guess it means that you can’t fight true love.”

“That seems about right,” she said. And then added, “Kind of like us.”

“Yeah… Kind of like us.” Suddenly an unexpected smile spread across my face.

And with that she kissed me on the cheek and walked into the bedroom to change clothes.

 

Without question, being in love has its ups and downs. At times it can feel like life’s greatest blessing, but it also has the potential to seem like a cruel joke. But high or low, good times or bad, when you fall in love… you just know it. You can’t fight it.

Thanks for the reminder, Emily. I know you’re still young, but someday I hope you find a love that makes you feel passionately and wonderfully alive (at least most of the time). Never settle for anything less. You’re worth it.

 


Jun 26 2011

#57 “Wolf vs. T-Rex”

From a stranger somewhere in the U.S.

Let’s face it, conflict is a part of life. Whether it be with others (interpersonal) or with ourselves (intrapersonal), we are all engaged in conflict in some way on nearly a daily basis. While we largely claim that we don’t like conflict, it is undeniable that we find it interesting. In truth, we thrive on conflict. We love it. It intrigues us. Not only do we academically discuss why conflict occurs and how to avoid it and deal with it, but if we are really truthful with ourselves, most of us will admit that we sometimes even enjoy stirring up contention in the lives of others; and this includes our friends as well as our enemies.

Additionally, in this day and age, observing conflict has literally become a central part of many forms of entertainment. One of the reasons why we love reality television so much is because it focuses (almost exclusively in some cases) on interpersonal discord. Is this a problem? I’m not really sure, but it certainly seems to be true.

I will admit that I am addicted to conflict in my own life, in some very large as well as very small ways. An example of one of those minor ways is the fact that I have just recently become enamored with a television show called “The Deadliest Warrior.” The premise of the show is not simply about conflict; it actually comprises the show in its entirety. You see, every episode focuses on fictionally pitting warriors from various cultures and time periods against one another and discovering (based on physical prowess, weaponry and skills) which warrior would prevail in a battle to the death.

Overall, “The Deadliest Warrior” can be a bit cheesy and far-fetched at times, but the analysis of much of the weaponry seems fairly accurate. I especially enjoying watching the damage that the weapons experts are able to inflict upon the blood-packed ballistic dummies that are often used during demonstrations. Yes, the love of gratuitous violence did not pass me by.

I mention all of this simply to say that this fantastically creative postcard brings to mind this interesting concept of speculating the victor in a conflict between unusual combatants. The only difference here is that the subjects are animals and not human warriors.

So who would win in a battle between the gigantic Tyrannosaurus Rex and the small but ferocious wolf? The answer may seem obvious, but if there is anything that I have learned from “TDW” it is that brute strength and physical prowess doesn’t always triumph over an advanced skill set of offensive techniques. This was recently displayed in a simulated engagement between a Maori Warrior and a Shaolin Monk. Although the deciding factor in this fight was most likely the use of steel weapons by the monks, I had foolishly assumed that the brute force of the Maori Warrior would prevail. Ultimately, I was disappointed, and the discipline, training and intellect of the monk made him the warrior triumphant.

So once again, who would win in a fight to the death between the terrible T-Rex and the wily wolf? I still haven’t weighed all of the data, but I don’t think we should jump to any conclusions. If nothing else, this piece has certainly given us something to “chew on.”