teaching fish to swim

Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

“Piscem nature doces,” Latin proverb attributed to Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (1466-1536) in his Adagia, meaning “you are teaching a fish to swim.”

Oceans

“Ocean thou mighty monster,” designed by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Preface to tone poem by Edward MacDowell (1860-1908) called To the Sea, which delineated a tonal oceanscape with its magnitude, mystery, and vast beauty.

Monkey dolphin

One falsehood leads to another. “Monkey and the Dolphin” by Aesop retold and illustrated by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Greeks traveled with their pet monkeys. At this time, the Dolphins were also very friendly towards humans, especially towards Athenians. A Greek ship bound for Athens was wrecked near the coast of Piraeus and Dolphins came to rescue the Athenians carrying them on their backs to shore. Mimouka spotted a Dolphin approaching, she quickly climbed onto his back, and then the Dolphin swam towards shore.

The Dolphin politely asked, “You are a citizen on illustrious Athens, are you not?”

Mimouka eagerly responded: “Yes, my family is one of the noblest in the city.”

“Indeed,” said the Dolphin. “Then of course you often visit Piraeus.”

“Yes, yes,” replied Mimouka. “Indeed, I do. I am with him constantly. Piraeus is my very best friend.”

This answer took the Dolphin by surprise, and turning his head ever so slightly, he could saw that he was carrying a cheeky monkey. With no more ado, he dived and left Mimouka soaked to fend care for herself while he swam off in search of some human to rescue.

 

 

Lax light water

“the-light-is-still-up-on-the-wa-ters-the-sun-is-still-up-on-the-sea” inspired by the words of Robert Lax, design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Light is still notecard

 

 

Meanderings 4… re-LAX

November 5, 2017

“wa-ter-writes-sun-lights-writes-wa-ter-writes-sun-light-writes-sun-light-sun-light-writes-on-the-wa-ter-wa-ter-wat-er-writes-in-the-light” poem by Robert Lax, design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

Water writes, sunlight writes notecard

 

 

It’s never wise to compare yourself to others.

Fish

Fish design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

Earlier in the day, a fisherman was drawing up a net from the sea that was full of all sorts of fish. While the big fish were all caught and hauled into the ship, a little fish escaped through the net mesh and swam back into the deep. As he crossed paths with more big fish, the little fish was grateful that his seeming insignificance was actually his safety net.

The Whole Inhabited World

February 28, 2017

ecumentical

Ecumenism is commonly portrayed symbolically as a boat afloat on the sea of the world with the mast in the form of a cross. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

Ecumenism reflects efforts towards the visible and holistic unity among different Christian faiths. The term ecumenical is derived from the Greek word οἰκουμένη (or oikoumene) meaning “the whole inhabited world.” The ecumenical movement involves the search for the visible unity of the Church (Ephesians 4:3) as well as envisioning the “whole inhabited earth” (Matthew 24:14) as the concern for all Christians.

chinese-ecumenical

The recognition of the importance of a spirit of unity is universal and conveyed by many symbols. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

Poor Butterfly
For she loved him so…

madam-butterfly

Young Ciocio-san awaits Pinkerton’s return from her past as her fathers hara-kiri knife looms before her. Inspired by Madama Butterfly (1904) composed by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), this design is by Meredith Eliassen, 1917.

 

Another rain wave…

January 9, 2017

shell

Detail of a shell from “Seaside Sampler” original design by Magie Hollingworth for Erhman Tapestry and stitched with adaptations by Meredith Eliassen.

A shell winks at me from the sand.

I stoop and pick it up.

I put it to my ear and hear echoes from the sea.

My heart is light.

I continue down the beach enjoying my newfound treasure.

I stop.

 

I put the shell to my ear again and hear echoes from the sea.

I am comforted by its rhythm.

Some shellfish change their shells like we change houses

 

I toss the shell back into the sea… surrendering my newfound treasure.

The waves swallow it.

I let go…

My encounter with Daisy

January 6, 2017

gulls

Detail from “Seaside Sampler” original design by Magie Hollingworth for Erhman Tapestry and stitched with adaptations by Meredith Eliassen.

How much time do we have before the tide comes in?

I head for the dunes.

I see a shoreline trotter.

She has a sunny friendly face…

And she answers to the name Daisy.

daisy

Detail of shoreline trotter named Daisy.

Time passes, and I begin to sing a song as I slow my pace.

A song comes to me.

The wind carried the words away.