I like a challenge. Sometimes I think I am a sucker for punishment, which is why I had chosen this artifact to use for my figurine. As you can almost see, it is a soapstone carving that has three faces; a raven, a bear and the not so visible turtle below the raven. I started with the raven facing me. The exaggerated long hooked beak is smooth with etchings showing the nostrils, face definition, eyes and solemn expression. The neck thickens slightly as it smooths over the back. There are two thin, rounded protrusions where the wings are located but they are drawn in towards the body. As you continue past this area, there are more etchings in the ebony stone that lead towards the gently pointed tail section. Drawing my eyes back to the face, I look below the beak and see a raised hump that has etchings similar to a turtles’ shell. As I follow this down past the ‘shell’, I see two lumps that are carved like the feet of a turtle. This, along with the tail, are what he balances on while the raven is in the upward position.
I turn the figurine around look at what first appeared to be the tail of the raven, to find it is actually the face of a bear. It’s nose is well-defined and the little grey lines lead up to his eyes. The backside of the ravens’ wings are his ears.
If I was the raven, I would have seen the window that shows the street beyond the white and grey deck, snow and birds swooping down to grab pieces of grains from the feeder. If I was the bear, I would have seen the sitting room where an old desk and two stools sit, along with a rocking chair with a fleece blanket thrown over the top right corner. Hanging on the wall is a nature picture of woodlands. Oh, ya, and one of the dogs just walked into the room. If I was the turtle, I would be looking at the top of a table. Boring!!
Next I move to the apple. I am going to start by hanging on the tree. The growth season is over and I am feeling the gentle wind blowing across my skin. The leaves tickle me too as they have moved around my circumference as it increased. The branches bob with the weight from all the apples housed on it. As the wind strengthens, I feel a tear in the stem that is attaching me to the branch. The wind continues and I feel the rip continue. I become severed from my nurturing place. I fall into the tall thick grass that is below the tree – kerplop!
I lay there for a while, wondering what my fate was to be. Before long, I felt a tickle. Then I felt a pain, excruciating pain! Something was biting me. Tiny little death bites, tearing into me. I could feel the persistent pressure that followed each bite. Something was trying to crawl into my very flesh! I lay there – helpless – screaming - unable to stop the invasion. I succumb to the hand dealt me. Ashes to ashes.
The worm. I have found the next destination for me. It is beautiful. A golden orb, ripe and beckoning me to taste its’ luscious juice and firm flesh. I crawl, inch by inch, to the grass bed on which it lay. The first bite is going to be memorable! My pincers are moving almost with a mind of their own and I drawn nearer. No! a bird is swooping near me. I must hold still. Phew! That was close. I am there. I open wide and close in on the first bite. Heaven, I’m in heaven. More, more, more. I am a glutton, but I can’t control myself. It is so juicy, so rich in flavour. I finally eat myself into a submission and lay there, sated. I fall asleep in that dark, sweet-smelling tunnel. I will continue my journey tomorrow.
Apple being plucked. As I sit on the branch of this glorious tree that gave me life, I soak up the sun, feeling its warmth. I can remember watching the different birds as they came to rest, sing and talk in the branches. I can see the way they coaxed the babes as they hatched from their little eggs. I can feel the…
That’s it. The apple is no longer available for commentary as it has been eaten by a large black bear that was making its’ way to his home.
Have I ever had an experience, as in being plucked from a hiding place or in a warm dark comfort spot?
Well, aside from being accidentally locked in a closed store that was under construction, not really. It was not a voluntary hiding spot. The cries of my brother and I finally drew attention from a passer-by that was able to open the door and let us out. I was four and he was five. It was a curiosity thing, ok?
That’s it then – lesson four completed. I hope you had fun. Please share your results, if you wish. We will look back at this one day and either cry, laugh or pat ourselves on the back.