We aren't actually in July yet, but it feels very balmy. Reminds me of our native land of Stindia. Ah Stindia, none of us have ever been there, so it isn't our native land exactly - just where we would feel most at home. Still its very warm lately and we hang around praising the Branch and Tree for it with our front arms spread wide. These truly are the MOST delicious leaves we've ever tasted, and so lush and full. The super ape has been going a bit ape though, it has to be said. She had the MOST ENORMOUS STICK you've ever seen and was holding it by it's tail and banging its head on the top of her tank and barking. I think she has a stereo on top of her enclosure like we did last week. She isn't very happy about it but seemed to cheer up when she sat and gazed into our little patch of jungle heaven. I think she'd like to hang upside down with us, except none of our branches would hold her. She is AWFUL HUGE. Imagine a branch big enough for her to hang out. WHaaaa. We could eat for a year.
Is grumpy, and very very very small. It lives in Anemone, FOR NOW. It has a plan you see. If it eats enough plankton, then eventually... YES EVENTUALLY… but that is top secret. For now Glenda is looking rather fine, very LIKE a crab though actually not a crab AT ALL. Either way, speckled and well armed. She has teeny tiny hands and also GREAT BIG hands, which she can choose to use as she pleases, if the plankton are getting a bit dull, then the clown fish next door is gonna get it. SNIP in the neck, and down her tiny mandibbly bits. Anemone looks the other way, a tiny bit embarrassed, but Glenda fans the water quite well and keeps him oxygenated. What's a polyp supposed to do when no clown fish are around? Now they're stuck together for the time being, at least, that is until EVENTUALLY... THE PLAN.
Once again dear twigs we nearly starved to death. Stick 14 nearly bent double so empty was she, but thankfully no one has lost any legs and we still at last FULL count number 73 beautiful sticks in total. We have learned to count by they way, by lining ourselves up and moving one at a time into bunches of FOUR and then one of us lies across all the others and we call that a foot. Four feet make 20 etc. Its much easier counting in feet. ANYWAY I digress.
We nearly starved again, it was awful. 14 looked like an upsidedown "V' and we thought her tail was paralysed but she was just making a display of herself as usual. All that was left were stalks stalks legs sticks and stalks. And it was quite crowded since nearly all of us have shed our third skin which means we are truly beautiful and long and green young adult ladies… EXCEPT... FOR ONE.
Anyway as per the routine the Super Ape collected us all up very quickly this time, deftly I might say, and moved MOST people into a very similar glass house to the one we were in, with new, delicious, tasty, fresh food and shelter. We all knew what was what and just got on with repositioning ourselves until that evening's assembly on the rope weave ceiling. Until we heard Bertha wailing. Yes, at first very quiet, not even a sway, and then simpering, and then, wailing. She'd been separated from stick 57 her favourite hanger outer and well, we soon realised that quite a few of us were MISSING.
The super ape has separated us! Some of us are in a different tank now, and I hear they have far more room and but far less to eat so it's swings and roundabouts really.
SO about this unusual person. Well, lets call them stick 73. Stick 73 is, wait for it... BROWN. With speckles, positively bark like! We think she might be A MALE>
No one dare hang off of stick 73, we are all watching closely to see what happens next.
Oh and half of us nearly died of a heart attack. Never has there been such a noise and vibrations, we were shaking and wobbling as much as we possibly could but nothing we could do could help us blend with this force 10 earthquake. Super Ape has put us ON A SPEAKER. She calls it that but its BARKY LOUD. Then there were flashes. We expected rain, but nothing, just Super Ape saying "that one's weird, it's brown, is it a boy do you think?" NO idea who she was talking to, possibly me; I looked right into its chasm like eye and for a moment I thought we understood each other. Dear Branch, life is weird, but good, especially since we got some more room. Though a shame for poor Bertha. If stick 73 is MALE we are going to call him HORACE. Bertha got her name by accident, but HORACE if he's male is statistically unlikely at best and so almost a twigging miracle.
Kids painter is what MS paint used to be to me in 2003. I used to paint random stuff to pass the time at work when nothing else was happeneing, and I felt life like being squeezed out of a toothpaste tube. You know that feeling of being so FULL and the opening of life being so small and things passing so slowly. I was impatient but drawing in MS paint, somehow liberated me in the moment. It's such a limited way to draw that you can't take it too seriously or worry about what it looks like, you just etch away, feeling satisfied just to be making a mark, a pure moment of fun and lightly touching focus. So look on - with this in mind. It's just there and fun, any time you feel like it. What incredible luxuries our little pocket computers are! In 2003 my state of the art sony errickson phone *which I'd still love to use today if I could* had a black screen with green writing. Heee.
I have been thinking about what Jesus Christ would look like, if you could draw his living spirit as a man today. A weird train of thought, I know (especiallly if you aren't Christian as I am, but bear with me). Most images we know of Jesus are from 12-16C masters' paintings and tend to make him look like zeus, with a beard, centre parting and straight hair. I was reading about it, and they say that actually, early images (1-3C) were showing him to be clean shaven, with curly hair as you might expect for a 30 year old Nazarean. I was wondering whether he looked like any other man, just 'full of light' to distinguish him. Anyway it is a very interesting and arresting, not to say challenging subject to tackle and I feel humbled by even the attempt. I was thinking about the shroud of Turin, or the Veronica, the various depictions of His face that seem to have real similarities in their characteristics. The first three were drawn using a model who struck me as someone who could 'play' jesus and then the fourth is someone else similarly who I think has a face that could contain such a spirit, though less grissled! The last one, is actually from a 'mark' that appeared on the wall where I was wallpapering. A face - and as I had been thinking and trying for days, it did look very like - and so I drew the face from that, and have stopped there for now. It is tempting to reproduce others' images, or to draw a cartoon, an icon that is representative only, but I was trying to capture a timeless face with a tangible realism about it, a face that shows a soul that people can then see and meet!? Anyway, even if Jesus isn't someone you are interested in, you have to admit that his life changed the course of history and we are still talking about him 2000 years later and that alone is pretty amazing. Also can you imagine a 30 year old preaching and anyone listening today? He wasn't selling vanity or sex, he was just telling the truth, and that older people and rulers took notice of such a young, basically transient, non-wealthy person - is kind of remarkable too. I just think we don't think it through far enough these days, it all seems a lot like a 16C painting and not like something that could be happening down the road today.