who are you

bat

who
are you
and who are

you
not—is
there a point

where
each merges
into the other

where
you meet
the both/and

neither–
where it
doesn’t really matter?

The Kick-About #15 features lithography illustrations by Eric Ravilious from the book High Street. I was immediately drawn to the shop full of masks, above. I’ve drawn, painted, stitched and collaged many masks over the years, and I also have quite a few that I’ve collected, stored and waiting for a place to be displayed.

horse

For the prompt, I decided to focus on Mexican animal masks, since the animal masks in the shop illustration seemed to be the most prominent element.

dog

Masking has a long history in the indigenous culture of the Americas, and animals are commonly used in dances, ritual, and ceremonies, often combined with Christian stories and characters.

fox

Masks are vessels in which a powerful energy is stored, an energy than can help cross the boundaries between human and animal, creating a co-existence of spirits in the same body.

bull/lizard

I confess that once I got started with these it was hard to stop.

hummingbird

The technique I used was the Rorschach monoprint–I painted one side and folded the paper in the center and pressed down to create a mirror image.

jaguar
owl

and if they take me
to heart, if they pull me through
their own openings

will I flow, float dreaming in
side their abiding presence–

no, not dead, but yet
not of the living—unbound
by movement or time,

reconnected, emerged as
an ancestor to myself

pig
horned creature

what came out
was not the same as
what went in

eagle
goat

I liked the bat so much I did it twice, once on red paper and once on white.

bat 2

animals
do not need our gods
to exist

19 thoughts on “who are you

  1. A bestiary, Kerfe! What delights! I’m trying to get a short story finished for my response this week, and the clock is ticking! I’m already looking forward to getting all these masks into the mix – pow!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love these! Some of them looked like different creatures to me, but that’s the whole point of it I imagine. I mentioned a bat yesterday. One was flitting around the house. They ought to be slowing down and going into hibernation but It’s still too warm.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this so much! I’m glad the spirit ran away with you. And yes, it’s always fascinated me that we’ve let ourselves get so removed from our animal natures that we need artifice to remind us. But… it’s beautiful artifice.

    Liked by 1 person

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