Tuesday, August 11, 2009
home is an alien world
Why do I choose to paint pictures of people and animals? I guess it's because I like to imagine that I remember another time and place, perhaps even this place in a slightly different realm of being.
Have you ever thought that there were other 'human beings' before our pack race of homo sapiens came along to fill every nook and cranny of the the world? We have strange names for them that I doubt they called themselves: Georgian Man, Peking Man, Heidelberg Man, Neanderthal, Homo rudolfensis, Homo habilis, Homo ergaster and Homo floresiensis. They were here long before us and some of their species lasted 100,000 years or more before our forebears climbed down from the trees and headed out across the savannahs of ancient Africa. Not just anonymous relations to gorillas, they were peoples with family bands, histories and cultures of their own. I imagine their elders sat around fires and told stories and philosophized about the stars in the sky. I'll bet they made music, danced and even told jokes but we'll never know for sure. Any instruments or forms of written language would have crumbled to dust long ago and all that's left of the oldest of them now is a few petrified bones.
Since we don't know exactly how they looked, other than the fact they looked nothing like us, they might not have needed shamanic masks for their rituals. Perhaps their intelligent faces had the look of howler monkeys, lynxes, martens, bears and wolves. What we do know is that they are the eldest of our elders, their thoughts and aspirations lost to time but they were here on earth at the cusp of sentience when people and animals had not yet separated into us and other. They were the people of the Dreamtime whose voices whispered through Vedanta and early Greek philosophers to remind us of a civilization we missed in an alien world of extraordinary beauty.
We are the last 'human beings' on the planet.