Dec 14 2011

#228 “Missing Piece”

From Anna in Little Rock, Arkansas

When we examine this illustration, I think we’re really presented with only two choices for our interpretation of its meaning. On the one hand, the artist behind this picture might have simply chosen to draw the hind end of the lupine subject because (as many artists know all too well) drawing the head/bust of a wolf is a very difficult task. On the other hand, this picture may present a metaphor about the constant busyness that has crept into our lives and has become such a dominant force that we can’t seem to sit still for more than a moment. Much like the wolf, we are in constant motion in our lives, “hunting” for something to fill our time and to prove that there is meaning in our existence. But unlike the wolf, which hunts for nourishment out of necessity, our hunt is one that is produced by an insecurity that something within us is lacking or that something is simply “missing.” In a global society that has progressed to the point where individuals in developed countries live lives in which every need is met before it is even felt, people reside just below the pinnacle of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and are desperately searching for self-accualization. In one sense this is great because it means that most of us live lives of safety and security, but at the same time, having these basic needs met leaves spare mental imagery that is often used to examine our own place in the world. Then, when the mind embarks on this difficult task, it is often so overwhelmed that it desperately searches for distraction. Thus, we end up filling our daily lives with meaningless tasks and distractions in a self-delusional attempt to fill a gaping hole in our own existence. Just as the front half of this wolf is missing from the illustration, the meaning and purpose of our own lives is lost to us, and we are on a constant hunt to fill the void in whatever way we can.

But please know that as I type this, I am not only speaking to you. I am also speaking to myself. Think about it- the constant hours of promoting this project, the early mornings and late nights spent hanging flyers to ask for wolf artwork from strangers, the days spent cataloging illustrations, the day-today postings that eat away at my time on this earth. What is all of this for? Is this the purpose for which I was designed? Or is this merely a distraction from my true purpose? Am I like this wolf, running from the spotlight so that I won’t have to examine my own self and so I won’t be seen by others? Maybe I am. Maybe. I. Am….

Oct 30 2011

#183 “Fragility”

From Sophie in London, England

It takes a very special person to stand up and say that there’s no shame in fragility. Most of us spend so much time trying to be invulnerable that we often lose sight of the value of our delicate nature. I fully believe that fragility is a trait that is not reserved for humans alone, but that every being on this planet (no matter how resilient it might appear on the surface) possesses a side that is as frail and delicate as an eggshell. And there’s no shame in this. We are all beautifully flawed beings who need and deserve to be treated with kindness. If more of us realized this, perhaps we would be nicer to one another, and then in turn the world would slowly transition into a happier place.

When I look at this wolf with a tear streaming down its furry cheek, I don’t pity the creature, nor do I condemn its emotion. I simply embrace its sensitive and sentimental nature with an empathetic heart and know that I, too, have shed many tears… often for reasons unknown.

In closing, this touching illustration of two tender lobos reminds me of a passage from a self-help book entitled Transformation Soup by SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy). The excerpt is called “More Tears, Please.” I have included it below. I hope you enjoy it, and if you ever feel like embracing more fully that delicate and fragile side of yourself, I encourage you to check out some of SARK’s other works, or at least think back to these beautiful animals created by Sophie.

We are afraid to cry.

We are afraid to be seen as weak, or falling apart, or not FUN! to be with.

We cry and then we apologize. We only cry in front of certain people. We only cry when we’re alone, or we can’t cry.

Crying is not spoken of enough.

When Princess Diana was killed, the images and sounds of so many people crying together really touched me…

We must let go and TUMBLE through our interiors with no handholds, and fall limply down, our clothes damp from tears.

We must cry together, and hold each other as our shoulders shake.

We must cry with JOY and bursting open at the stunning beauty and kindness in this world. 

We must cry when we encounter our primitive loneliness and wake up gasping at 4 A.M.

Cry More Often.

We must cry at the injustices and evil and violence in our world.

Cry Again.

I think that until we cry as often as we laugh, we are not fully alive.

Cry For No Reason.

Our tears are the waterfall of the soul and it is our right to experience and express sadness and other feelings through tears.

Don’t Block Tears.

When you feel that distinctive tingle behind your eyes, let the tears out.

You tears live inside of you and want to flow freely.

No More Apologies For Tears!

I welcome your tears and encourage my own.