Something winged this way comes

I am frustrated today because my Yahoo email is bouncing and every reactivation request I’ve put in is not working. I get error messages back that reassure me that Yahoo is working hard to upgrade its sites to serve me better and if I don’t hear anything after 4 hrs to get updates here (and then it shuttles me to a generic FAQ page. Updates? Hah! Nada.) I don’t know what else I can do now but wait. I’ve followed all the steps including trying to reactivate myself from a group I moderate.

So this lack of results has put me in a rather peevish mood, but since it’s Halloween and the time for the thinning of the veils and such, I’ll tell you a story of synchronicity.

Many years ago, oh best beloved, my dh and I were on an expedition in Egypt searching for ancient artifacts using remote viewing. It was tiring and hot but we loved nearly every minute of it, and cherished the moments that we could see other parts of that beautiful and fascinating country. One early evening, our drivers took us out to Saqqara where we watched sunset near the bent pyramid of Zoser. We sat on a hillside covered with loose rocks and rubble. I put my hand down and picked up one rock, turned it over, and there was a hieroglyphic of an ibis, headless. But the body clearly told me what kind of bird it was. That was a rare moment, holding a piece of history in my hand, rescued from what looked like a landfill.

Flash forward ten years or more, to another turbulent time. We were working on a show that had to do with native americans and the settling of the west, and I was looking for some props to use in filming a sequence. A chance visit to a garage sale (unrelated) turned up a bead loom with a bead weaving half completed. There was the ibis-like wading bird, again … but this time, without a tail. It felt like a visitation from an old friend.

Ibises in art seem to speak to me in some way. A benign, good way, even if they are headless. So, today when my dh had a meeting in Beverly Hills and offered the opportunity to ride along and go to the LA county art museum, I jumped at the chance. I had HAD it up to here with bouncing emails, thankfully a rare occurrence. On Halloween the museum was empty. I had the place to myself and I reveled in it. You can imagine my smile rounding the corner into the Egyptian gallery and coming across this beautiful bronze of an ibis which may have once been on a royal standard. I just had to stop and draw it, head, wings, tail and all.

When I got home tonight, I did a little research on the ibis and its symbolism. The bird is sacred to the Egyptian deity Thoth, the civilizer of men, who taught music, medicine, writing and magic and was associated with speech, literature, the arts and learning. And most appropriate today, on all hallows eve, Thoth was the author of the Book of the Dead, and he who helped or punished the departed as they made their trek to the underworld.

On these days when some believe the veil between worlds may thin, who knows what power ancient symbols may still hold – even if only to grant a smile and a moment of relaxing drawing pleasure.


  1. Tami
    November 1, 2006

    Karen, this si a beautiful drawing. I love the story, glad you found your Ibis to draw, wonderful day to draw find it, too.

  2. shanti
    November 1, 2006

    Your story sounds like finding an old friend. Sometimes symbols are show up when least expected but reatly needed. They remind us of things that important to us.

    BTW great job on your second place win!

    I saw your small squash painting and just yesterday stopped by the local nursery to pick up a few for painting. I didn’t get the one that looks like it was dipped in paint because I didn’t think anyone would believe it was real.

  3. TeriC
    November 1, 2006

    Gorgeous job on this wonderful bird. They fascinate me also.

  4. Karen
    November 1, 2006

    Karen – This was an excellent drawing and story on a day when a good drawing and story were exactly what I needed. Very satisfying indeed. Bravo!

  5. Frank Bettendorf
    November 1, 2006

    What a nice touch to your drawing! I don’t recall ever seeing one of your drawings before but have always enjoyed your watercolors. Hope you’ll post some more to show us another side of you. Thanks.

  6. Brigette
    November 1, 2006

    Thanks for the story! You do Remote Viewing? Will Wonders never cease?

    What are the White Birds that we have here in California that hang out in the sloughs? I’ve always just called them the Dinosaur Birds. I always say Hello to them. They are magnificent.

  7. Kira
    November 1, 2006

    Karen, I love that story of finding the Ibis in Egypt! I was such an archeology/Egyptian nut as a kid. Thank you so much for sharing it. – Kira

  8. Pamela
    November 1, 2006

    I’ve got to come back later… I just wanted you to know I’ve stopped by.
    draggin’ or is that dragon tonight.
    going to bed early

  9. Katherine
    November 2, 2006

    Great story – and isn’t it great when you get to go to museums without the hordes! Very nice drawing

  10. Nancy Coler
    November 2, 2006

    What a rich and interesting live you have lead and what wonderful experiences you two have had. You video careers have brought you into such
    unique spots too! Your Ibis is lovely sketch. He’s got personality!

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