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Word Art: Alien Life

Lake Sirmon is one of the reasons I am irretrievably barred from saying I have not had an interesting life.  We met at an art show that my friend Steve took me to.  It was supposed to be the grand opening of her new art gallery and studio space.  Unfortunately, an ice storm hit the area and made the opening a little less than grand.  Nevertheless, we braved the slick roads and I fell in love with one of the masks that Lake had made–a half-mask covered in red glitter with beads and red and black plumes.  Steve still owed me money (I have a tendency to fall for men in less-than-stable financial situations, but I always get it in writing when I help them out) and the mask in question was about the price of his final payment, so he bought me the mask and we called it even.

Because of Lake, I have posed for photographs in the ruins of an abandoned steel mill, wielded a wand as the Art For A Buck Fairy, covered myself in lipstick and body paint while completely nude in front of an audience and helped paint a hearse to turn it into a multicolored work of automotive art.  Lake proved to me beyond all doubt that you don’t need to be a rich person to live a rich life.

Lake has a thing for aliens.  She’s made art of spaceships, dressed up as an alien, put on an “Alien Luau” and collects the odd bits of ephemera depicting aliens that have made it to the thrift shops.  One of her artworks comes with a story about a girl from an isolated planet who builds a spaceship to explore the universe with.

It was at Lake’s house that my art career began.  I knew I had until June to come up with a birthday present for her.  True to form, I was ridiculously late, but I wanted this piece to be worth it.

Alien Life

Alien Life

We have always looked up at the stars and wondered if anybody up there was looking back.

As, over time, we reduced what was unknown through adding to what was known (and as we realized how vast indeed was the unknown) we cast our various fears and our hopes into that void and asked ourselves what kinds of beings would arise from it.

Perhaps it says something about ourselves in what things that we expect will come.

We have told tales of being invaded by those who would take what we have and make use of it.

(Perhaps we secretly fear that all the things we did to others will one day be in turn done to us?)

In other stories, they come in the guises of our highest selves, being the beings we wish that we could turn into ourselves.

We wish that we could fly and so we gave them flight.

We wish that we could be rational, and so we give them logic.

We wish the rules for life would be clear, and so we give them purpose.

Some people are convinced beings from distant planets have already come to this place, even as the traces left behind are transient and uncertain.

(Should you suggest that past stories of humans were have been captured and released by the fae are really stories of those who have been captured and released by extraterrestrials, my question would be how can we indeed be certain that the abductors are not, in fact, the Fair Folk in suitable disguises?)

Other people make claims that the pyramids and other exceptional achievements of times past were in fact works of visitors from other worlds.

I find that this comes across as a bit of a slight to humanity.

We are, as a whole, far more remarkable than we give ourselves credit for.

And I also suspect that we all feel a bit like an alien from time, as we behold the peculiar customs of these human creatures and wonder why they act that way.

Anybody who explores the inner and outer spaces of the realms of creativity will find this to be especially true.

So perhaps the eyes that stare back from the skies are our own.

Lake loved it when I gave it to her and I’m honored to have my work added to her art collection.

Printout of this work (3 MB .jpg file) available here.  Please read the license details.

The original has been given to Lake Sirmon.

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