Nine Gods in Masquerade

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Digital drawing. An empty masquerade mask facing forward with several asymmetrical elements. At center bridge of nose, a seashell motif. At left of image the top corner of the mask appears to be burning in a sparkling flame, and part of the mask appears to be vaporizing. At bottom is a small chainmail section from which there hangs a row of teardrop pieces dangling from thin strings. Within each eye hole is a star-filled sky motif. The right eye hole is framed with a tiled or scaled border. The left eye is surrounded by a vine motif. At right of image a feather and wing motif drops from the bottom of the mask. Along the side and extending up in a branching tree. A few leaves sprout from a few branches. Two flowers are set beside the tree and above the left eye. A dragonfly-like insect is perched at the base of the tree with two insect wings extending out and two feathers emerging from the bottom.

The story will be told by the young and by the old, many times this night, of the nine gods in masquerade.  And it seems to me, that most of these storytellers have only pieces of a greater puzzle.

The masquerade is an ancient custom, they say.  They all say that.  And that part is right. 

It’s the one night when the gods, in disguise, walk among the mortals, they say. 

Ha!

We all know there’s no such things as gods.  Only ancestors, some of whom knew more and better than we do, and some of whom knew less and worse.

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The Last Magnificent Seahorse

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Digital drawing. Floating in water among small bubbles, the mythical creature known as the hippocampus. Seen from left side, the front half looks like a horse, except that the mane is replaced with a spiny dorsal fin, and the hooves are replaced by fins. The forelimbs appear to be in mid-gallop. The back half appears like a fish with fins protruding from the sides. The tail arcs toward the front. The creature’s coloring is vivid and shimmering like a fish.

The foal peered out at the sea, the forbidding sea, and he wondered.  He wondered at what his mother had just told him.

“It can’t be true,” he said, swishing his tail.  He was still new to the world, but already he had a favorite thing to do, and it was swishing his tail.

“Why not?” his mother asked.  She had warned him not to get too close to the waves.  But she need not have.  He wasn’t going anywhere near that roaring, reaching, grasping beast that she called “the sea.”

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The Magnificenting Glass

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Digital drawing. A hand at the bottom right corner holds what appears to be a magnifying glass over a patch of grass. Through the glass are seen bright multi-colored shapes that appear to be a cityscape seen from above.

I looked through the glass, at my crinkled, folded over, flagged, and dog-eared notebook, expecting to see the unintentional thumbprint on the edge of the page in fine detail.  Instead, I saw some kind of roller coaster in a dozen shades of blue. Some glowing, some metallic, some watery.  Something that looked like a tiny orange dot zoomed around and around the loops and twirls of the coaster. Continue reading