I’m fascinated by the ouroboros, the snake that chases its tail. This ancient circular symbol represents eternal renewal, the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. The name ouroboros comes from the Greek words for “tail” ouros, and “eating” boros. So the literal translation is something more akin to “the snake that eats itself”.
I feel I am entering a fierce stage of renewal myself, one in which I must feed my creativity. I received my Master of Fine Arts fourteen years ago, and while I’ve published a few of my essays and poems, I’ve not given my writing the nurturing it deserves. The same is true for my visual art. While I’ve had works included in exhibitions in the USA, Spain, and Russia, I have several artworks in process that need my attention. I hate seeing them waiting for my time and attention and my paint and my pencils.
Today is Easter Monday, which marks the second day of the Eastertide season. This traditional time of resurrection is really speaking to me. I have been painting my apartment over the last few months, swapping out plain white for color. I’ve been rearranging the artworks that hang on my walls, and I’ve noted none of these pieces are my own works. I think it’s time to change that! And, I am renewing my commitment to collaborative arts projects as I honor the blessings of creating in community.
This Friday April 22nd is Earth Day, a holiday where we all have the opportunity to demonstrate our support for environmental causes. It will also be the celebration of Hox Zodiac SNAKE, an interactive and collaborative online arts event coordinated by Victoria Vesna from the UCLA Art|Sci Center, and Siddharth Ramakrishnan, the Jennie M. Caruthers Chair in Neuroscience at the University of Puget Sound. Hox Zodiac, based on the Chinese animal zodiac and the Hox gene, has evolved into a “dinner” that addresses through experience and dialogue our deep relationship with animals as companions, food, and lab experiments. The artist and scientist seek to bring into the public this relationship in a way that expands the idea of the zodiac and puts the humans into the role of an animal that they have been assigned culturally.
My Chinese horoscope animal is the snake, sometimes referred to as the “little dragon”. I will be a featured artist at Hox Zodiac SNAKE this coming Friday April 22, 2022 at 12 noon PDT. Participants at Hox Zodiac are asked to bring a food or beverage as an offering to the celebrated animal. Because we honor the snake this coming Friday, and because I am a snake, and because I am in the midst of an upwelling of rebirth themes, and because the ouroboros is speaking to me, I will bring snake as a food offering at Hox Zodiac. I ordered a box of western diamondback rattlesnake bones, and I will be making egg drop soup with rattlesnake broth for my Hox Zodiac food offering. I’ll also be talking about the poetics of redaction, a way of creating poetry from buried words.
I hope you can join us this Friday 04-22-22. Attendance at Hox Zodiac is free, but one must register here to get the Zoom link to the event. Please come make art with us as we honor the snake!