Monday, December 5, 2005

"The Sacred and the Profane"

"Sacred Scarab"

The atmosphere at the Luxor hotel and casino astounds me. There is such a plethora of images sacred to me mixed in a milieu some would call profane. The gamblers who sit for hours at a hungry machine, feeding it coins while in a seeming trance, the gamblers who play the cards, no doubt less in a trance, but all taking risks, hoping for a huge win, they make a strange panorama amongst these images of ancient gods and goddesses. Even the airport in Las Vegas is filled with noisy gambling machines.

Those that play the game called Sacred Scarab, do any of them have an idea of what is sacred about this symbol? Or is it in their minds merely a 'good luck' symbol? A clerk in one of the shops noticed my lapis and gold scarab and complimented me on it:

Gold with Lapis Lazuli

I told her it came from Egypt, "", if I remembered right. She then asked, "Has it brought you luck?" A bit startled, I replied, "Yes, I believe it has," but I could explain no further.

If I had tried, she might not have understood. What gives an image its sacred qualities resides solely in the mind and heart of the person perceiving that image. If it is not there, if that image doesn't call up meanings and associations sacred to that viewer, it is just shapes and lines.

"Luck" does belong to the realm which is out of our control. (Nicholas Rescher goes into depth on that in his "Luck: The Brilliant Randomness of Everyday Life") But I like to believe how I respond to this 'deck of cards' I have been dealt is under my control. I can choose to transform the fortunate or misfortunate into catalysts for my own growth. If I do that, I make my own 'luck'.

Kheperu ... "May it become!"

Meanwhile, mute gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt 'watch' over a vast arena of gamblers protectively enclosed within a black pyramid set in American desert lands.

If these words have any meaning, it is because you have given them meaning!

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

"While Waiting"

"Kashmirs in Earthquake: Father keeps his sick children warm while waiting at a Nato hospital"

That was the caption to the original newspaper photo, showing a man whose face had such character to it. I hoped to capture his worry, concern and hardship in my sketch last Tuesday. I did it while waiting impatiently at Sky Harbor airport, having learned my plane was delayed. It turned out to be 'delayed' two hours, and eventually cancelled, as we were then boarded on a later flight.

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