Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Team Serpent

Disclaimer: Sudo Nimm's been at the keyboard again, which is never keybored when he's around. The following post features heavy pontification with a little puntification thrown in for good measure.


Can the serpent be a metaphor for the creative artist? As a fellow ground-dweller, the serpent is the creature that moves most fluidly on land. Air has the bird and water has the fish. In this sense, the serpent is restricted to the same two-dimensional plane of movement as the creative artist. We are both of the earth.

The defining feature of the serpent is that it lacks legs, but it is also this very feature that enables it to be completely grounded. With more of its body engaged in the act of movement, the serpent, ironically, has a surer "footing" than most animals with legs.

The creative artist, grounded in his/her medium and grounded in humanity, has a surer footing in the experience of life. The imagination of the creative artist moves with the conviction of this sureness.

The serpent's freer sense of movement brings both locomotion and loco motion. Many people are afraid of the slithering serpent, perhaps because their movements cannot be anticipated in the same way as a legged animal's movements. It is a basic manifestation of a fear of the unknown.

As much as the creative artist can move freely in any direction, it does not come without a cost. This is the notion of loco motion again. One has to wonder at times if the "mad artist" is not something more than a cliche.

There can be a lot of loco among our lot, but maybe that's because the freedom of movement can be so overwhelming at times: What, how, and when to produce? And that always terrifying "why." Then, of course, there's the easiest way to dismiss the misunderstood artist-- "crazy."

Perhaps the serpent and the creative artist are spiritually entwined. Maybe we each are one of the serpents of the caduceus, the wand of Hermes; and together, as the serpentine Serpenteam, we can bring peace to the world.

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