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Small History of Flying Fish

sandstone, guitarflying fish5

If we set the little paraffin lamp out at night, flying fish were attracted by the light and large and small, shot over the raft…flying fish7

It sometimes happened that we heard an outburst of strong language from a man on deck when a cold flying fish came unexpectedly, at a good speed, slap into his face…

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…They always came at a good pace and snout first, and if they caught one full in the face they made it burn and tingle… flying fish8

But the unprovoked attack was quickly forgiven by the injured party, for with all its drawbacks, we were in a maritime land of enchantment where delicious fish dishes came hurling through the air…flying fish1

We used to fry them for breakfast, and wether it was the fish, the cook or our appetites, they reminded us of fried troutlings once we had scraped the scales off…  Thor Heyerdahl, Kon Tiki, 1950

Flying FishThere is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish.  But what are they among so many people?…flying fish4Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all… DSC_0064Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted… flying fish2When they were satisfied, he told, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.”

flying fish3So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets… John 6, 9-13 NRSV

In the dark and unlit ceiling of the Loretta Chapel there is a lonely painting of a chunky fish atop a heavy slab of bread.   At the moment Thor Heyerdahl’s balsa log raft was colliding with a dusty man breaking bread in the grass of Palestine.  The long pilgrim road leading through elder drifts, slabs of rock, mountains of hailstones, unearthly fish with a mouth like a grave.  The sign of Jonah.  Provision comes unlooked for, and fear is weathered away.

 

Cu

The Deeping Cold outside says to me, “Jack, it is a good time be indoors cutting copper into the flying fish of provision.”

“Indeed!” says I,  “but let us not forget those who toil without such comfort.”

“Verily!” says the Deeping Cold.

plate making01

bevel

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edge dust

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the transition

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gouache

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upon which to draw

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cultivators

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scribe

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awe

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hard meets soft

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line upon line

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slowly slowly