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Showing posts with the label Kodama

Guardian

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Guardian is one of two paintings among many prints in my exhibit at Roby King Gallery on Bainbridge Island, November 3-27.  I was inspired to reinterpret my monotype print "Guardian" in paint when I read these words from one of my favorite poets, Billy Collins.

"It is hard to speak of these things
how the voices of light enter the body
and begin to recite their stories
how the earth holds us painfully against
its breast made of humus and brambles
how we who will soon be gone regard
the entities that continue to return
greener than ever, spring water flowing
through a meadow and the shadows of clouds
passing over the hills and the ground
where we stand in the tremble of thought
taking the vast outside into ourselves."

from the poem “Directions” by Billy Collins

"The entities that continue to return," are symbolized in the Nyads, Kodama, and Green Men.  They are mythic reminders if you listen and personifications of a cyclic and green world.   They return…

Kodama

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Indigenous cultures around the world revered special trees or rocks or unique aspects of their homelands.  Japanese myth speaks of Kodama, deities who dwell within or among the trees and groves they protect. 

One of the oldest references to the Kodama is the book Wamuryorui Jyusho or Japanese Names for Things; written 931 – 938 CE.  In this dictionary Kodama are defined as spirits of the trees.

Early Japanese lore described the Kodama as either invisible or indistinguishable from trees but over time Kodama took on human aspect.  There are stories of Kodama falling in love with humans and assuming human shape to be with their beloved much like the Greek myths of Dryads, humans and gods.

My monotype "Kodama" was made for exhibition at Roby King Galleries November 3-27, 2017 where Denise Kester and I will display our individual interpretations of myth in print and paint.