Grand Animal

The taxi driver refused to go any further.
In the dream I was staying in a hotel on Spadina near College and wanted to go shopping further down towards Dundas, in the deep and winding medieval streets, but the driver turned the car around and let me out, saying “most people don’t want to go down there – it’s too dangerous”.
It was like one of those neighbourhoods in Mexico City – Colonia Doctores or Ciudad Neza way back when – where all taxi drivers refuse to enter, cause everyone knows anything could happen.
So I walked.
The streets were deserted, dark, until I got down near the very bottom, almost to the waterfront, where the sky was wide and the road opened up into a kind of rock quarry, reminiscent of Teotihuacan –
quarry1teotihuacan b&wAnd still walking, I ventured into the rocks, strolling happily until I sensed movement in the steps and mounds of the quarry. And as I looked, these creatures took shape.
They were lions – stone lions.
They were living animals – their large bodies moving and rummaging about – but they were made of stone, the same stone of the the quarry.
placcid lionsnarling lionAt just the moment that it registered in my mind what I was seeing, the danger I was in, a large lion sensed me too, the hint of movement in his peripheral vision, and his head snapped up in a snarl.
Then the pounce, the running jump of the massive creature coming after me.
Suddenly I had a large plywood board in my hands which I lay underneath in a crevice in the rocks, pulling the board flat on top of me, effectively disappearing into the ground.
big biting lionThe lion lumbered heavily over me, not finding me, scrambling over and away, somewhere beyond where I lay hidden.
The fear was so real, the terror so palpable – one of those nightmares that wakes you up in a sweat, blinking in the dark of the bedroom.
The next morning I was out walking, and turning the corner to where the new second-hand bookstore is, the guy who sells old National Geographic magazines for a buck a piece, I noticed several had big spreads on lions.
nat geo running lionI brought them home and began to draw.
When the dream is so vivid, so strong, and yet so cryptic, there is nothing for it but to spend more time with the imagery…
running lion

33 thoughts on “Grand Animal

    1. Thanks John.
      Even beyond the mane, I’ve been noticing how splendid their noses are – broad and straight and long…
      Great animal to spend time with, exploring their details.

    1. Thanks Jeff! I needed to do a “grand” post just cause I knew you were waiting…but it took a while and well, it wasn’t really a photo post at all… πŸ™‚

          1. I’ve been known to really “reach” when it comes to the weekly photo challenge, so why not “reach” when it comes to how I see other’s. πŸ™‚

  1. Someday, I’ll have to share my face to (very close) face encounter with a male lion, in Africa. Still haunts me. I especially love your last painting and the smaller one on the left… that last one, gorgeous! Like you I dream so vividly… Some days, I find myself processing them all day.

  2. Oooo! It got quite intense there for a moment! I love the Artistry! You have such a free flowing hand! And that lion trying to peer in at you busted me out laughing… Chilling story just the same! Great blog! I just gobbled it up!

  3. Lions are a good omen, giving you strength, personal power and helping you through personal struggles as he can help show up any threatening situations….

    Love your drawings. Very impressed with your creative art talent πŸ™‚ xxx Love and Blessings Sue x

  4. Your painting is beautiful. I love reading about people’s dreams or thinking about my own and trying to determine “what they mean.” If I were to go all psycho babble here I would think that the fact that the lions were made of the same material around you means that you are in a dangerous or threatening environment that does not always appear to be so…. OooOooo I should have my own 1-800 number like Miss Cleo.

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