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Monday, December 27, 2010

Ossus Part 2- A Story Continued

The continuing story of the shape shifting alien Ossus, who visits earth and comes to believe that cats are gods. For the tale's beginning see my recent blog post for November 17.

So he stayed with the snow leopard for a time in his guise of cub. She marveled at how quickly he grew until at last they hunted side by side on the snowy plateau and down the surrounding slopes. Sometimes they ran for the sheer joy of feeling their powerfully fluid bodies in movement through the chill crystalline air. They were alone with the voice of the wind in the heights and only once did they observe, at a great distance, another large creature. It appeared to move effortlessly upright on two legs, floating a short distance above the earth, partially encased in a smooth skin of saffron and burgundy. The only part of it that came close to touching the ground below was the odd shimmering halo of light that surrounded its entire body. It was not so lovely as the snow leopard with her lithe grace and beautifully patterned fur. Still Ossus felt a great calm and admiration fill him as he watched the solitary monk and for a moment his adopted mother gazed in wonder at the serene, shaven human head atop the feline body of her son.

Then one day he lifted his nose to the wind and knew it was time to go. There was a new scent in the air, like her odor, only stronger, more musky and demanding. She felt a momentary pang when she sensed he was leaving, but already she had been distracted for days by the scent of the other, unknown male who prowled ever closer to her den.
                                                                         ***
Ossus kept his leopard body long enough to descend into a temperate valley but soon found the humid warmth oppressive in his heavy fur, a coat designed expressly for life in the chilly heights. He was sorry to dissolve the artful pattern of the spotted coat-- he had thought it one of his best efforts to date-- but entered joyfully into the change that brought him to the ground in the smooth skinned form of a long, legless being he saw hanging from a tree near by. Fueled by his hunger for small furred things swallowed whole he slithered forth hidden among the tall grasses and small stones, always alert to the scents brought to him through his marvelous, constantly flicking tongue. He reveled in the tickle of earth under his belly and the warmth of sun drenched rocks coursing through his blood.

He was uncertain how long he had slept when some movement sensed through his dream caused his elongated body to contract into a rough 's'. At that moment he felt the heavy vibration of metal striking stone near his head and in one movement rolled away and upward, closely followed by the old two legged’s cry as she watched him rise with the wings of a rock dove sprouting from his serpentine form. Long after the change was complete, he turned his feathered head down to see her still following his flight, no more than a toy sized figure leaning on an ancient hoe at the edge of a vegetable patch. He could still make out the dark 'o' of her mouth.

And so he again became a creature of air, some days drifting seed-like on the currents, on others winging swiftly, covered with air-filled shafts that bore him up to the brightness of the massive day star or among dark masses of grey-black water vapor that flashed and sparked with a powerful light of their own.

Looking down he saw green things everywhere and one day among them a glimpse of orange and black. It was the back of a creature not unlike the snow leopard, but larger and perhaps ( though he hated to admit it), even more powerful and beautifully made. Ossus watched as it stalked a slender creature with limpid brown eyes, an animal without voice until the end when the tiger's teeth found its spine and a strange high pitched shriek escaped its mouth. Ossus felt the creature’s final terror rush through him and for a moment he was both pursuer and victim, in another body high above the earth.

Then it was too much for him to sustain the substance of all three forms and he began to spin out of control, spiraling down among broken branches and leaves until he managed to snag with one hairy arm the thick vine of a jungle creeper. He swung hand over hand to the shelter of a large tree branch, where he cuddled up against another like him, already asleep, scratched his smooth belly skin and began to snore softly. (To be continued...)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Digital Sketchbook

Have been playing a little with images of some of my art whilst recovering from a very nasty case of flu. I am seldom ill and being such a restless soul I have found it a bit melancholy living indoors, in one spot, for an entire week. Write and say hello if you have a moment, whether friend or future (but presently unknown) friend--things feel lonely here-- although as I write I am in a cyber cafe, my elbow being gently accosted by the wet nose of a very large and lovely white German Shepherd. (I love the way animals can come along in European cafes--the US is so hyper about "health" laws it would never happen).
the original fae realm shadow box




detail        
"vintage" version
retro hippie version (tee hee)
begun with a photo of work composed of found objects around my grainy photo of a Victorian era child's gravestone, then altered slightly in photoshop
more with the same photo-- a version with different objects--an old music box mechanism, a faded botanical specimen caught in leaded glass, butterfly wing encased in mica, etc
and yet again
 And finally on a more colorful and less melancholy note--- the original papier-mache and found object "mosaic" of the ubiquitous heart in hand motif which is always sneaking into my work and thoughts...
along with another version from photoshop...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Random Ramblings in Warmer Times and Climes

The recent cold snap and all the lovely but chilling snow I experienced in the mountains around Grenoble last week made me start thinking about travels earlier this year in the South of France. As the year winds down to winter here are a few things I saw and found interesting whilst on the road in warmer weather.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ossus--A Story Part 1 (to be continued...)

      Floating down from the deep blackness of space he could see the planet looming below, so lush and green that it reminded him of a velvet waistcoat his mother had worn years before. He had loved to bury his face in the softness of it, drinking in the exotic fragrance of spices lingering in the fiber. Ossus thought of her now, her face brown and ridged as his boots of leatherwood, looking so fragile and ancient that he felt a sharp pang of guilt. Just this last adventure had needed the doing, had called him. Then as suddenly he was filled with exhilaration, enraptured in this drifting down, light as a wind borne seed to the beckoning luxuriance.
    His boot tips landed with a crunch in the sandy gravel of a mountainous plateau where bitter winds drove a powder of snow against his back. Stark granite peaks thrust upward in violent loveliness from a valley that seemed as distant below as this changeable planet seen from space.
    'Hardly what I was expecting,' he murmured huskily to himself, lashing the storm flaps tighter around his leggings and mentally fortifying the shimmering aura dancing around his body.
    The great light that had flared at his comings and goings in this corner of the galaxy had begun to dim, turning the high masses of water vapor in the upper atmosphere a deep crimson. Ossus traveled west with the beckoning light, the snow piling so deep around his boots that he rose and floated a hand span above the surface. But the effort was too great after his long journey and he began to search for a shelter where he could summon the deep, rejuvenating sleep that post space required. Eventually amid the lengthening shadows he spotted a fault in the cliff face that deepened to black and he made his way down, his breath a harsh rattle in the face of the wind.
    The cave was sheltered with a narrow opening and fragrant with a musky odor Ossus found strangely pleasing, a low note below the faint biting pitch of urine. He drew himself upright in the doorway and released an inquiring flare of light from his palm. It traveled quickly around the domed hollow, revealing nothing more than a stone ledge running the length of one wall. The space was littered with the scattered bones of small gnawing animals not unlike those Ossus had observed on his own world. He felt the faint twitch of his teeth forming to the familiar pattern of the lemhares’ incisors but stopped his strange mutation before it could go further. He was exhausted and would sleep now without indulging in these childish games. With a smile on his thin lips, he set the guard flares about his body and sank into sleep.
   In his dream he smelled again the musky scent of his shelter, this time stronger and more insistent. He sensed a great warmth and softness encircling him, and most startling of all he felt his small, now lipless mouth hungrily sucking sweet nourishment. He plunged his blunt forefeet again and again into the thick plush fur until his extended claws met pure muscle and he awoke to find her harsh tongue on him, rasping his eyelids, his nostrils and his round taut belly.
    In her mind he read the images of the tiny limp body she had carried away from this place and the strange joy that seized her when she returned to find her living cub restored. She had no way to know how the world worked, that such things were not supposed to happen. She was young and it had been her first pregnancy. Now she found herself once more with a spotted kit nestled beside her, one whose small form appeared to carry the blueprint of all her beauty and power...

Saturday, October 16, 2010