Recently I was asked where my interest in trolls came from. That wasn't an easy question to answer but -- well, mythology has always fascinated me since my discovery that the legends of trolls go back to some of the earliest recorded tales of religion and history.
Our ancient ancestors saw life through a different set of lenses than we use. They often viewed natural phenomenon as a kind of mystical happening. But it was through their primitive efforts to put meaning to those observations of things unknown that brought about the birth of religion and science.
Now both of those disciplines have their own viewpoints of how the Universe came into being. Scientists and religious scholars each have different theories of the origin of creation as they try to understand the who of "Who are we?" and the where of "Where are we?" Then, of course there is the extremely complex, "What are we?"
Trolls came in the beginning. We have this on Snorri's word -- Snorri, that fabled storyteller and collector of legends. It was Snorri who captured the almost vanished tales and mythos of other ages. He recorded them for us and through his efforts we can gain a glimpse into the minds of the folks of yesterday.
Studying Trolls then is one way of travelling back to the very beginning
of ancient times for a view of the Universe through the perspective of
primitive eyes. And so I became a friend of and searcher of Trolls and
other enchanted creatures.
The Contemplation of Crossing Over
Time has become an important icon for me, the need to understand just where I am on the surface of the Universe drives me to write and to sculpt, paint and build. Yet, the dimension that I travel in or on, slides back and forth, up and down and sideways in the convolutions of my mind.
Curt Vonnegut came closer to understanding the nature of "mind-time" than anyone I've ever encountered. In Slaughterhouse Five he postulates the "Cosmic Infundibulum" wherin the main character of the book, Billy Pilgrim moves back and forth in the time frames of his life. Billy may have been standing in his garden as a 75 year old man, but then in the blink of an eye, he was back in grammar school, as a 10 year old, answering the questions of his teacher.
Memories of Days Past
I think Vonnegut has caught the mechanism of how we think and remember. As we age, the list of memories in our lives grows longer as there are more "worlds" to "go back" to. Time travel is a common, daily routine for most of us, not as some abstract concept from the mind of a mathematician, but as a regular occurance.
The Lady is Waiting
Each morning I arise and contemplate a coming new adventure. Often I heft my camera and head out across the "Fields We Know," toward the "Fields We Know Not," as Lord Dunsany might say. I walk with an open mind, trying not to define too closely the world I'm entering. In that way the world I see on a daily basis is different. There may be fog covering the roads which turns the light of traffic lights and cars moving down the roadway into spirits in transit, shifting their energies from one level of consciousness to another. Trees become giant goblins and the land beyond the fog could be anywhere, anywhere at all.
Lurkers in the Bush
Entering the woods I try to "see" what I haven't seen before. I ask myself, "What is it that you have looked at time and time again but haven't really seen. So I put on imaginary multi-spectral spectacles to cut through into places I don't know. Most often the experiment brings success and I come away with images I wouldn't have found on another day.
Night Crawlers Here
My writings and fantasy stories are generally character based. I'll meet a new person and something in their nature will suggest a story or, sometimes, that a tale I'm working on was waiting for this character to "come on board." So I try to get to know the "new" individual so that the fictional person they become in the story stays "in character."
Village of Ogres
I feel that I influence others as much as they influence me. My "Time Machines" have gone off in directions of their own, from Florida to Budapest where some of the sculptures now reside. My friend John Sims has gone off on his own direction with his "Time Sculptures" During the New Years celebration of the DFN Gallery (Downtown Financial Network) John's "timepieces" were featured along with the work of Andy Warhol to bring in the new century. John and I often collaborate at such exhibits as our sculptures and structures compliment one another.
A School of Wraiths
Even as a child I was a storyteller, spinning ghost-yarns to my two younger cousins, David and Donny when they stayed over at our house for the weekend. Once, my aunt Irene was a storyteller too whose yarn spinning days were strangled by a jealous teacher who told her student Irene that her stories were worthless. My father remembered how crushed Irene was by the comment and her days as a storyteller ended.
Camp of the Hornet Goblins
Yet, both Irene and I come from a tradition of storytellers. Longfellow discovered one of our storyteller ancestors, Rene' LeBlanc, the notary which he immortalized in "Evangeline," the tale of the Acadian dispersal. Rene' was ". . . beloved by all, and most of all by the children; For he told them tales of the Loup-garou in the forest, And of the goblin that came in the night to water the horses, And of the white Letiche, the ghost of a child who unchristened Died, and was doomed to haunt unseen the chambers of children; . . . "
Garden of Infants
And how on Christmas eve the oxen talked in the stable, And how the fever was cured by a spider shut up in a nutshell, And of the marvelous powers of four-leafed clover and horshoes, With whatsoever else was writ in the lore of the village . . . "
A Fairy Garden
Through writing and illustrating I found that I didn't have to journey to exotic places to experience the unusual in nature or life. In the natural world of any neighborhood there was an abundance of material, overgrown backyards, mushrooms, crumbling walls, moss, that anyone could use to create fantasy worlds.
A Visitor to the Land of Fairie
But as I explored and took home those thoughts and images I realized that I was missing much because I didn't know how to look. Like many I was only seeing what was on the surface. When I stopped to look closer, walking instead of riding, and bending down to look at roots, flowers and all, I discovered innumerable worlds in miniature.
Contemplation of the Universe
Daiquan, Suzanne and Bearded Friend
A School For Wraiths
The Arctic Buffenape
City of the Dreamer
"Landscape At the Edge of Forever"
Here There Be Trolls
The Prince of Shattered Dreams
Ruby in Straw Hat
Beyond the Wall
Entrance to "the Land Below."
The Spider's Lair
Deux ex machina
Go to Dreamers Notebook: Book Two
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