“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

4.04.2008

Tiger Fence


I really love this shot. It's outside Brady's Coffee Shop, 2 or 3 blocks from my house. I stopped to get a coke this morning & there it was. Never mind that I've been there a gazillion times & I finally  actually saw it. The point is I saw  it. It's been raining for a couple of days & while most of the fence was totally saturated with water & had turned dark, part of each board hadn't, and it reminded me of a tiger's stripes. Photo specs are that it's just a normal shot that's been enhanced in Photoshop - photo technology is sooo  boring; I will spare you the details.

The tiger is the symbol I use when describing/dealing with my anxiety disorder. Several years ago I heard a Zen story about a monk who was an incredible artist. The monk takes up residence in a cave (I think all  good Zen stories should involve a monk in a cave, don't you?) & begins painting a tiger on his wall - an incredibly realistic tiger which takes him years to finish, and when he does finish it, it's so realistic that he becomes frightened by it. It's not real, it's something he thought up in his own head, but he allows himself to become frightened. When I heard that little tale, it was such an epiphany!  I mean, that's what I  do! And I'm really good at it, too - I could rule the world if I could just harness my brain power & imagination. Anyway, it's become a code phrase that the ever-wonderful, ever-understanding, ever-patient Michael uses whenever I begin to imagine the worst . (Why is it one never imagines the best?) He just looks at me & says "You're paintin' the tiger, babe." For a while I kept a couple of little toy tigers on my desk as reminders.

It's also the theme of A Fairy Tale for Grown-Up Women  - a story I began writing about a year ago that's gone through several incarnations as an altered book, a "new" book, a collage, etc., but now sits in pieces waiting for me to figure out what to do with it. I blogged about it back in February & posted the 1st page. Maybe I'll post the 2nd page.

This fence also kind of looks like a feather - a tiger feather? A tiger bird!!!!!  YES! That is a painting I will start this weekend! Wow - It just hit  me! Wow again!!! I can't wait!

PS - The video linked to Brady's Coffee Shop was shot by the usually-packing-heat-Robert-Earl-Keen-loving Robert.

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