Sunday

Muzzle


This past couple of years I've been back and forth between deer images in the studio.  Deer creatures I've been calling them as they seem more Lascaux than anatomical.  The branched head of the stag is brushwork absolutely.  I can understand completely my own species fascination with crowns.  Little wonder that anyone who ever saw antlers would want a pair for themselves.

Then there's the long tapering head.  Elegant, the lady.  The muzzle has become a fascination especially these past few week as my realization of it as the ultimate food processor for mammals grows daily.  The range of its possibilities in grazing, the delicacy as a cutting,  picking and stripping tool (can't leave out nuzzling) makes for an altogether admirable piece of evolutionary advance.

We, on the other hand, are practically muzzleless.  This muzzlelessness is shared by a couple of other primates, all of whom have the ever-handy opposible thumb attached to a fingered hand.  The very thing for getting food to one's mouth if one had been left flat-faced and frontal.  What a lot of uses we've made of a tool that in an evolutionary sense seems clearly designed for the simple movement of positioning an apple for a bite.

The endlessness of this list of uses may well be what describes us as a species as much as any other factor.  I say endless (have we found another form for the eternal, if in fact that refers to a phenomena without beginning or end?) because the list grows as I write.  This hand has combined with an overly-cognitive brain and a measly heart to create a real mess for ourselves and all others that occupy this lovely planet.  I know there's a lot good stuff on the list, too.  Without this knowledge my smallish tendency to nihilism would become overwhelming.  Maybe that is why I paint.  Part of it anyway.

Evolution or devolution?   I don't think we're not going to see a counter-evolutionary movement requiring us to become handless if that is what the essence of revolution is...an effort to restrain or re-direct arrant mis-evolution?  If the source could just as well be internal as external then we could think the dinosaurs quite possibly had one that left them gone in a day. Talk about revolution.

Will we suffer the same fate or will the goodness possible in this simple tool re-direct us, re-connect us to the planet?  There's an old Chinese curse involving living in interesting times.  What of ours as humans has not been so?  And all because our muzzle never developed properly, leaving us with hands instead?

These hands...wrapped around a flute, running over the keyboard of a piano, painting, writing a poem... I'll put a brush in mine today.