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Flora, Fauna, Persona
the art & writing of Desirée Isphording
The Loonatiques 
24th-Jul-2006 11:02 pm


Since my childhood, it has been an annual tradition for many of the men in our family, namely my father but also other members including my uncle and grandfather, to take a sojourn to Ontario, Canada for week of fishing (and likely a fair share of beer-drinking). On his way home my father generally picks up gifts for my sister, my mother, and me at a duty-free shop near the US/Canadian border. My mother and sister have asked him to bring them back typical souvenir fare: keychains, sweatshirts, etc. Although I have received such items in the past as tokens of his trips north, I never asked for them myself.

However, every year I present him with a request, and after all these years this request has yet to be fulfilled. Perhaps it will never be.

Each year I ask my father to bring me back a Loon (Gávia ímmer) feather. { In a strange way, my request mirrors a similar one made by the youngest daughter in the classic Beauty and the Beast tale. When Beauty's father sets out on his journey, his two eldest daughters requested fine jewels and gowns, reminders of their former affluence. Beauty requests a single rose, "Since you have the goodness to think of me, [...] be so kind to bring me a rose, for as none grows hereabouts, they are a kind of rarity." }

Despite the number of loons that dwell around the lakes where my father goes fishing, he has never been able to locate even a small feather to bring home with him. I suspect that someone must collect stray loon feathers in the wavering hours between twilight and dawn. These mysterious figures venture out after the last small lights have returned to the docks but before the earliest riser casts his first line - an in-between time.

The loose sketch above accompanies this text in my paper journal. After paging through a collection of Remedios Varo's work, which shelters all sorts of delightful OwlWomen and other feathered shape-shifters, in the school library, I was reminded of the loons. I hope that one day this will become a fully-fledged image, but for now it is simply germinating in my humble sketchbook/journal.
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