Isaac wasn’t a happy child. Nor was he unhappy. He spent his time reading or lying in the grass looking up at the sky and the trees. He didn’t show much interest in playing with other boys and hated it when his grandmother invited them to play.
He had no patience with those whose mind wasn’t as quick as his own. Apple sauce for brains, he called it. One day, one of his unfortunate visitors lay under the apple tree laden with ripe fruit.
As the apple fell, Isaac crowed: like calls to like!
It would be alright. He’d done this a hundred times before. Today he was guiding a group of geologists searching for an underground river in the caves beneath the Jokakichua mountain, or Dragon’s Head, named for its distinctive shape and it’s sudden “flames” of fog.
He knew the greenish algae-produced light helped adjust your senses to the surroundings; it felt eerie nonetheless. Irrelevantly, he wished he hadn’t lost his lucky charm.
Suddenly he stopped, senses on red alert. It was quiet, too quiet. Where was everybody? He heard a deep rasping breath, and felt a hot draft on his neck.
I recently came across a lovely art-blog by watercolour artist / teacher Jana Bouc with beautiful ink-and-watercolours, especially her wildflowers.
It reminded me of an art group I went to years ago. I wanted to improve my drawing skills, and spent hours (or so it seemed) labouring over pencil drawings. I know you need to practice, but it gets fairly tedious, so I used to finish up with a quick ink-and-watercolour study, just for fun.
The pencil drawings weren’t that bad. Yet somehow, I was always happier with the spontaneous watercolour sketches than with the drawings that cost me so much effort. I wonder why. Was it just that I prefer colours over line drawings? Or because in my mind one represented work, the other play? Or did the my impatience with one and joy in the other somehow seep into the drawings?
One of the zentangle habits is to name the patterns one puts in a doodle. The one I personally call “Crazy” (like crazy paving) is good for covering up pattern ideas that didn’t work out. Can you spot it?
If at least people asked directly it would be a clean death. These oblique questions were torture. He’d tried evasion. “I work for the government.” It didn’t help, just drew the painful process out.
Unfortunately, he was a bad liar: he’d stammer or choke. He blushed to recall the amazed and unbelieving looks. “I work for a business consultancy”, whatever that meant. Once, in a panic, “I’m a funeral director.” Well, everything was better than the truth.
That’s what he would do. Gerald heaved a sigh of relief.
The decision had been driving him crazy. He hadn’t been able to sleep for almost a fortnight. There were so many factors to consider. So many things that could go wrong. But now all that was over. He’d made the decision, and all would be well. It was a great weight off his mind.
He turned over in bed: now for a good night’s sleep. He closed his eyes, ready to drift into oblivion. It was several minutes before he heard the niggling voice.
Lazy sunday. I spent all day playing with my new app, the Flame painter. Wow. This is art. Not the results, but the pure joy of playing with colours. I encourage everyone to try the free online version. Peter Blaškovič other simulations are also worth a look.
Rare sight: the mating flight of the phoenix.
The male circles, showing off his magnificent fire-tail to impress the female above. If she descends, he’s in with a chance. Rarely seen, phoenixes in mating plumage are thought to bring luck, and the male display seen from below is probably the origin of the “angel” myth and shape.