Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Element of Air

I was born on February 29th. No, I'm not telling you the year though I will tell you it begins with the number 1 not 2. This makes me a Pisces, a Leap Year one at that, and as you all know, that is a water sign. So why am I so obsessed with the realm of Air?

Birds, insects, anything with wings pulls at my heart strings. My work has reflected this passion for years as you can see by my sketchbooks from years ago. Yet I do not yearn to sprout wings and join these creatures. I am content to stay grounded and watch. I stand transfixed whenever an osprey soars overhead. When I hear the honking of migrating geese under a full moon in the middle of the night, I rush outside with no thought of the fact that I only sleep in a t shirt and underwear and the neighbors might be up and about too.

When I was little, I used to ask my mother what my shoulder blades were. She would lightly run her hand over them as if checking for herself before stating, "That is where your wings will grow." Did she see in me this passion already growing at a young age?

So here I am, older, and still studying and painting my favorite subjects - birds and insects. In fact I have a solo show booked for the Spring on insects. Just recently, I finished making a collection of fabric wing brooches. I continue to paint my Air Angels, produce my "specimen" bottles of insects and create my pocket shrines with insects and birds playing center stage.

I read constantly about the folklore and myths of winged creatures. Divination by watching birds is known as orthomancy and for years, people all over the world have predicted the weather by taking note of a bird's flight pattern and call. Birds have long been considered messengers of the gods. Even the Old Testament says, "The birds of the air will carry your voice, or some winged creature will tell the matter.

Even though I don't enjoy flying myself, I did date two pilots. One man flew A10s, the warthogs, and now flies one of the big commercial planes and the other had a beautiful Cherokee. I recall flying at night in that tiny, metal bird and I will admit it was enchanting. Even my oldest son has his pilot's license. So I am assuming my romance with wings of all sorts will continue through the rest of my life.

I may be a water sign living on an island but about two miles up the road is where the Wright Brothers made history imitating a bird.

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