What Shapes Humans

For a number of years my mother was a passionate batik artist. She has moved on into other realms of creative output now but I recall a letter she sent me of arriving in Java, Indonesia.

Java and Bali are the home of batik and so to go to the root of an art form you have played with for a long time is a pilgrimage of sorts.

I recall the letter. The descriptions of the heat on arrival on the tarmac, shimmering. The humidity of those climes is intense if you haven’t experienced them before.

In my life I think it was otters. My Bali. Ducks are quite beautiful. They can fly and swim and dive and waddle/almost walk.

I was given a book about otters as a child and I became quite fascinated with them.

There weren’t too many otters (0 😉 – though I found the first escaped American mink in my area – dead – hit by a car). So I became fascinated with birds.

I did get to encounter some real otters. They are pretty awesome creatures. They are at home in land and especially the water. And they are very playful creatures.

What is not to love? They are pretty damned cute. My mother was drawn to batik and that lead to etching.

I was lead to otters and that lead to yoga and that lead to Pamenides and he lead to a renewed interest in science.

Science is about observation, testing insights, and conviction. As is yoga (Union as practiced focus).

Batiks are paintings and beautiful garments in a hot exotic culture.

Otters are playful creatures at home on land and in the sea and the river.

I recall my father read me ‘Tarka the Otter’ by Henry Williamson as a young boy.

In a sense, that book is twin to Moby Dick. It’s an extraordinary book. The beauty of the otter in a larger ecosystem is brilliantly painted. Our insensitivity too.

There is a way for the otter to celebrate man as much as I celebrate them.

© Copyright 2021 Nathan Curry

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