It began with a Sasquatch.
In the early 70’s stories of the forest creature flourished when Roger Patterson’s 1967 Sasquatch film reached the masses.
The park where we lived was a perfect setting for tales of ‘sightings’ to go viral among campers.
My Dad applied logic to comfort my fears “There would be scat, skeletal remains, evidence if they existed’. I was unconvinced… because, well, there were pictures. Isn’t that evidence enough?
Living in a vast wilderness, home to all kinds of creatures was a part of our daily life.
To a six year old, it made sense to believe Bigfoot wandered among them, and Roger’s photo haunted me.
One sleepless night, standing on my bed to see out my window, I worried, was it stalking us? Hearing my tearful whimpers, my brother quietly entered my room dressed in flannel Charlie Brown pjs. Climbing up, he peered out alongside me.
Gazing at the inky black moonless night, I whispered my fears. He agreed, “Yes, he could be out there. I feel sorry for him.”
“He is alone in the dark. People are afraid of him and don’t like him. He probably would like to have a friend. He must be really lonely.” I mentioned the scary photo.
Beyond the wisdom of a 7 year old, he replied “Is he chasing, or running away? afraid? We don’t really know.” From that day since, I make a conscious effort to not be drawn into ignorant assumptions. Besides, if fretting about a mythical creature, why not believe he is one of the good guys?
Assumptions without truth can dangerously lead us on a merry mind chase. How we perceive events and others is a choice. Look at face value, or consider possibilities. Seek truth.
Dismissing stereotypes, approaching people and situations with a positive open mind may release unnecessary stress and the negative tizzy we get ourselves into. Even if we don’t know the whole story, shedding positive light widens perspective.
The art world is a commonplace for myths to circulate, and yet, art can offer a world of hope. Art is universal, can increase tolerance and sharpen critical thinking in the viewer.
When we stop judging, we don’t just become open to possibility, we free ourselves.
“Art is about paying attention.” Laurie Anderson
“I shut my eyes in order to see,” Paul Gauguin
“One can only see what one observes, and one observes only things which are already in the mind.” Alphonse Bertillon
“All living artists are broke, struggle to make a living” ~Living Artist Jeff Koons’ net worth is 200 million.
“Sunflower” 16×20 $1,030.oo
“Morning Sunlight” 11×14 $700.oo
Photos: My brother & I, Moose Mnt Park, The Beast~ Manitou beach SK, artist unknown.~ Dawn & deer.