Canthus Vitae

For my Final in Narrative Image, I decided to create a triptych on the themes of Life, Death, and Rebirth. For each panel, I wrote a piece of prose. This is all LOADED with symbolism, and I don’t even want to begin to deliver a dissertation on it here. I’ll just say that these pieces are based on my own journey with coming to terms with the inevitable human life-cycle. The soundtrack of this journey has many references in the prose, as are various bits of spiritual and philosophical wisdom that has informed me throughout the years.

Enjoy!

Canthus Vitae

watercolor paintings mounted on foamcore

Valerie Herron 2011

Panel One: Life

watercolor on Arches

Valerie Herron 2011

The magic of the incomprehensible microbe

Blood and teeth and fur and scales

Feathers venom bones and filth

We all come into this world swinging

Swaddled in the sling of physics

we dance in that all-night party of the pulse

and traverse the sinewy synoptic pathways

by cognitive torchlight

the spark that ignites the shaman in the ape

we create things bigger than ourselves

we are the ephemeral creating permanence.

 Panel Two: Death

watercolor on Arches

Valerie Herron 2011

 the severing Shears of Atropos,

 Shears of Skuld.

 What will become of me?

 Will I glide into the fold of oblivion

 Or will I rocket

 From zero to infinity?

 Is there gestalt if my parts dissolve?

 And can there be purpose

 For those so soluble?

 You, Great Annihilator:

 The Hands Behind the cogs of the Universe

 Above me and below me

 Inside me and Around me,

 From the terrestrial womb we emerge

 And into the Earth we all return.

Panel Three: Rebirth

 watercolor on Arches

Valerie Herron 2011

 We scatter and collide!

We are the earth

We are the sky.

You hear this, entropy?

We can only break

Into so many pieces

to be absorbed

expressed in chlorophyll and granite!

to nourish the larval souls

that only our imaginations will know.

Perhaps.

but we are not unknown to them,

we create things bigger than ourselves

we are the ephemeral creating permanence.


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