Work Continues on the Cave

What else can a person do?   Like many of you, I’m freezing my a** off, at least on a part-time basis.  I just returned from a subzero walk with Maya.  Trust me, there are ways to get out in this weather and actually enjoy it!  I start with the silk or pseudosilk long underwear, tops and bottoms (ooh baby are they sexy accentuating my now 49-year-old hips and bumps; happy birthday to me, by the way).  Next, some sort of pants–jeans or close-fitting running pants work nicely.  Add one T-shirt and a sweatshirt on top.  Pull on one of those fur-lined hats with the ear flaps (I am truly stylin’ like those Hollister and Abercrombie skeletongirls).  Then I get out the choppers, which refers to (in Yooper language, the frozen tongue of those who inhabit Michigan’s Upper Peninsula) a pair of large leather mittens with removable knit liners.  If said liners are knit by your Yooper granny, you are blessed.  However, my salvation has been the $.64 handwarmers from the hunting section of WalMart.   I tuck them inside the choppers and let them work their WalMagic.  Finally, I pull on the finishing touches: an insulated coat, my son’s snowpants and snowboots that he grew out of in 6th grade (and I fortunately shrank into shortly after that time), and a scarf around my neck and the lower half of my face.  Voila!  Sweat.  Sometimes I even steam up my glasses so much that they frost over.  No kidding!  Anyway, after all that preparation, I am obligated to take a long walk.  Maya and I have explored miles of trails through the woods in the west side of our little town.  We never run into anyone, because apparently everyone else is sane.

2013-01-20 12.07.082012-12-30 15.26.43

Sometimes I wish I were as badass as the Selk’nam people of Chile (honestly, I thought I heard this tale about Chief Seattle, but my Google search to confirm this has led me to another source and to doubt my memory…again).  Anyway, the summary of the tale is this:  

A researcher who was studying the Selk’nam at the end of the 19th century saw one of their men naked in the snow and asked him why he wasn’t cold, as he believed that people should leave only their face uncovered.  The Selk’nam man replied, “I am all face.”


Someday I will test my mettle and walk out to get my mail naked (I do sometimes go barefoot, just to leave footprints that entertain passersby).  I will be all face.

As far as the cave, I’ve hinted at or explained in depth (memory doubt again) that I have these compulsions to play with paint.  I can’t say I’m an artist, because I need serious work.  In any case, combine that with one of my geeky pet science interests, archaeology, and you get a strange result…a cave.  If you had a cave, how would you decorate it?  I love cave art.  Some of it is really beautiful and very sophisticated for what modern people have always insulted as cavepeople.  This is most true in Europe and Africa (unfortunately, petroglyphs in North America are crude in comparison, though they have their own charm).  Check out Lascaux in France and Altamira in Spain  Inspiring, aren’t they?

But first you need a cave:
January 2013, Florida, cave painting 043

And then the family bison:
January 2013, Florida, cave painting 039

Other important symbols:

A butterfly...sense a familiar theme?  Also note that in hand stencils, the hands were often missing digits or parts of digits.  This cavewoman is not going there.

A butterfly…sense a familiar theme? Also note that in hand stencils, the hands were often missing digits or parts of digits. This cavewoman is not going there.

And of course, the family, in progress…(inspired by African rock art):

only just begun...

only just begun…

I’ll let you know how it goes.  I need to add lots of finesse and artistic touches after the family portrait is done; you know–kind of Cirque du Soleil it up a little.  Hell, it’s my cave and I can do whatever I want with it!  But that’s the point where I either make or break this thing…

So…what would you paint in your cave?


~ by rebuildingholly on February 1, 2013.

8 Responses to “Work Continues on the Cave”

  1. I love your cave paintings. What a great way to think. Yes decorate it however you want!

  2. That’s a great project.

    • It’s fun to do because it’s a blast to figure out how to translate your life into cave art. So far, I want to view it by torchlight in a cave. It will be fine when I tie it all together in the end, though!

  3. Awwwww….Maya as the “family bison”….love it! Really cool (showin’ MY age there)

  4. Okay I have to disagree. You ARE an artist! Very much so!

    But back to that “I am all face” thing. Interesting attitude to have about one’s being. Off to ponder . . .

    • Thank you! Lots of refining to do. I’m still working in the family (just wait), but the worst part is the balance thing. The butterfly was too bold, so I gently took a toothbrush to it…much better! It’s nice to have several things going at once and then let them sit and unfold a bit. I should do the same with my blog posts. They could use some time to stew before I slap ’em up in print.

      Ya know, it’s been too damn cold to attempt the “all face” thing. I’m a wuss with the cold. In fact, right now I’m procrastinating because I have to put on those layers and brave the cold once again for Maya’s evening walk. It will be fine, but I’m soooo tired of it!

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