Friday, March 23, 2007

Flying Elephants

"In the beginning of time, the skies were filled with flying elephants. Too heavy for their wings, they sometimes crashed through the trees and frightened other animals.

All the flying grey elephants migrated to the source of the Ganges. They agreed to renounce their wings and settle on the earth. When they molted, millions of wings fell to the earth, the snow covered them, and the Himalayas were born.

The blue elephants landed in the see and their wings became fins. They are whales, the trunkless elephants of the oceans. Their cousins are the manatees, the trunkless elephants of the rivers.

The chameleon elephants kept their wings but agreed never again to land on the earth. When they go to sleep, the elephants always lie down in the same place in the sky with one eye open.

The stars you see at night are the unblinking eyes of sleeping elephants, who sleep with one eye open to best keep watch over us"


Yesterday I went to watch what is probably the most spectacular and touching exhibition I've ever seen. "Ashes & Snow" at the Nomadic Museum in Odaiba, Tokyo. It is just amazing the way Gregory Colbert shows us through his camera lenses the sentimental world of animals, and how humans relate to them. Being in a period of time where everything seems to be explained by science, where we are so disconnected to nature, and where most people look down on animals, it is incredible the way this pictures and videos connect us to what we all have inside, our feelings, our emotional world, and our nature. It connects us back to where we belong, with nature, and with all the animals that share this world with us. Seeing how peacefully humans could share the world with nature is so touching, seeing directly to the eyes of an elephant, a chimpanzee, an eagle, and realizing how much they've got to tell us, how much we can learn from them, but specially how full of live and wonder they are, made me feel so overwhelmed, so vulnerable somehow, but so alive at the same time. It almost brought tears to my eyes (actually a few came out). But it also gave me hope that little by little more people start to connect back again to our roots, to nature, to animals, to eachother, to ourselves... our feelings.

I loved it so much in there that I stayed and watch the 60 minutes movie twice. And even then I really didnt wanted to leave. It was as a whole a really wonderful day, full of discoveries, feelings, emotions and thoughts. (Thanks Jarrod! :)
I ended up buying this book full of pics (its so beautiful! Its printed in Japanese paper, and covered in paper made in Nepal, its just amazing! (of course it was expensive... :p) but they told me they'll give me the DVD for free if I bought it, so it was kind of a good deal :p), and I guess it will become one of the most valuable books and DVD I ever have. I just think I'll have to put in a very special place and take so much care of it... :s
I really hope you all go and see this exhibition if it ever goes close to your place. Or you can come an visit me someday and watch the DVD :)
I really think that together with Earthlings (which in contrast to the peaceful animals-human-nature relationship shown in Ashes&Snow shows the reality animals have to endure in the hands of humans), this is one of the things everyone should watch at least once in their life.

And now that I think about it, this exhibition really makes me feel more connected to one of the quotes I heard in Earthlings, and that I've always found so meaningful. It goes like this...

"We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilisation surveys the creatures through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronise them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, we greatly err. For the animals shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete, gifted with extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings. They are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth. "
~Henry Beston, The Outermost House, 1928


*Love & Peace*