Like a Banshee

I’ve been away from the studio for a while now. First there was the big rearrange, and then I went to Santa Catalina to visit a friend and stock up on sunshine. I hiked around a whole darn watershed (granted not a very big one, but still), kayaked out to a bird rock to stare down some cormorants, and got a taste of what it might be like to be a sea creature whilst snorkeling amongst the feeshes and lobsters and kelp.

And then I returned, sated and feeling like a feckless wild thing. I’m currently sleepy and a bit nonsensical, but what’s on my mind is this: the other side of happiness is sorrow; the other side of bliss is pain. Neither is good, neither bad. Neither right nor wrong. But when I’m all doused in one, I often get a clear view of the other. Sun-drenched and soaring, I could feel the keening that comes with exchanging wild fecklessness for human civilizedness.

Self-Portrait in Sorrow, Digital Photograph

I love sorrow. I don’t like it, but when it comes, I will savor it. Sorrow is not pleasant, but it is rich. You can’t miss it. When you are keening inside, you know you are alive. Some one asked me once what my favorite monster is. I thought about dragons mostly and cool old things like Cerberus, but when my thoughts crossed the Banshee, they stopped. The Banshee comes from Irish folklore, a woman whose cry signifies the death of the one who hears it. To me, the Banshee is like the human heart. When she aches, she is reminding you that one day you will die, so you better live now.

Like a Banshee, Ink and Watercolor on Paper, 7″ x 7″


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