Who can say how long is Time? Seven days, seven years or million? But this is known to some: Ilmatar, lovely spirit of the Air, came to be first Water Mother, to Vainamoinen and the fishes, and then Mother Earth, to the soil, hills and rocks. The Plants came to cover the Earth, and then came the creatures to eat them; then finally the Gods wearied of tending to all of this, and created Human-kind, so fiercely fragile, but every ready to exist and persist. And to prepare for these people, the children of gods, Vainamoinen felled an entire forest, leaving but one birch tree for the flying two leggeds, then planted the first fields of grains. And the Great Eagle saw all of this, and said, “It is good.”
When the darkness was almost too much to bear, Vainamoinen called out to Kap, the daughter of the Ether, for the strength to fell the Evil Oak. Asking for the Power of Water, his singing plea was answered when a tiny man came from the Waters. And sadly, Vainamoinen mocked him, calling home a Pygmy Hero, useless and better off to perish. And then this tiny hero of human-kind revealed his Truest Self and chopped the great tree to the ground.
In the matter of the acorn that Vainamoinen wanted to sprout and become the Sacred Oak, his impatience was rewarded when a giant kindled the magic fire and the acorn began to grow. And grow. Until the sun and moon were blotted out and the canopy of the Great Oak filled the vault of the sky. The people, plants and animals suffered in the perpetual twilight, and called out for rescue. Vainamoinen could only sing his magic to call for help.
Waiting no longer for the acorn to sprout, Vainamoinen looks about and spies five maidens working a field near the great water. Rising from those mysterious depths comes a giant who gathered up the maidens’ grasses and set a great fire that birthed the acorn.
Some say that the Plant Magic worked by Pellerwoinen was a gift from the Great Bear to Vainamoinen; some say that the Great Green Earth was sown from pieces of the wonderful Sampo. But the Sampo is yet another tale and for Now, Vainamoinen waits for the acorn to sprout and become the Sacred Oak. And he is not a patient wise man.
Pellerwoinen could not help but hear Vainamoinen’s Powerful Song, and he set about to sow his seeds, planting all manner vegetation. It was only a matter of Time before the land would come alive and yet Another New Day begin.
After the First Begining, there were only the gods and spirits, some would call them Holy People, but I am not so sure of that. Those First Ones tired of working at the tasks of daily living, so some Time After the Beginning, they began to make men and women out of the earthly mud. These New Ones, the Human Beings, would do take up the toils and do the bidding of the First Ones. And in this way, Earth became home to to Humanity.
Now there were New People created in the Likeness of the First, Magic People. And Things have never been exactly the same.
With a sprinkle of syncrenicity, and innate tendencies to deviate my focus, I have been introduced to the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic. Collected in the very early 19th century by a traveling doctor, the poems (or runes) are described in the opening verse as “songs in a collection of boxes” and an unwinding ball of wisdom. Beautiful image, yes? My head was filled with images, and the utterly fantastical creation story grabbed my attention. Attention, I might add, that a good friend reminded me was already committed to my exhibition this next summer, loosely titled “How the West was Almost Lost.” I really hope that I can manage to take care of both of these ideas.
So without giving away the plot of the Kalevala, I begin to tell one of the stories.
Before the Beginning of Time, there was Water, Air and Light, and of these, Air was the saddest and loneliest of all.
A very old song tells that the Spirit of the Air wandered for so long that she was weary and finally rested upon the Water.
The Spirit of the Air became intangled in the turbulence, and sank below the surface, sadder than Ever. From Somewhere Else, a Great Duck flew over the Water seeking a Place to lay Her Eggs. Seeing The Spirit of the Air’s knees, the Duck descended and built a nest with 6 perfect egg and a 7th made of iron. I did not know that a spirit had knees; that must be another story entirely.
(Typical of my projects, this one reveals that I am not so much of a computer geek as to always get my sizes right.)
And so the Eggs were safely borne until the Great Duck began to brood, and the heat from her body began to burn the Spirit of the Air, causing her to flinch. The Eggs were tossed into the Water and broken, and it was the Dawn of a Very New Day.
So it has been a very long time since I have posted……while that might appear to mean nothing has been going on, or possibly too much, my attention has just been elsewhere, as in back in the studio-yes!
And finishing up a couple of pieces that had been languishing on the workbench. And some patterning for the Cuyamungue Institute near Santa Fe, New Mexico. That has been particularly fun as it takes me way back in time to my days as a costumer. Here is one of the prototypes I have been working on…….I won’t say any more about it; you can go to http://www.cuyamungueinstitute.com to learn more about the fascinating work of Felicitas Goodman and the continuing work that goes on there. It has certainly been important in my Life (meaning art, family, daily living, or in ARTSPEAK, “Aesthetic Relationships”). I don’t know exactly what that means, but graduate candidates in the Fine Arts somewhere probably do.