Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ICHTHYOSAUR EYES AND AMMONITES: Fall is a time for introspection and pondering survival from mass extinctions

FALL IS FOR LOOKING WITHIN.  (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for FALL and for images like ICHTHYOSAURS and AMMONITES, ancient sea life that offers us metaphors for deeper understanding of our lives. 

FALL is the time when we experience a tumult of emotions. On one hand, we feel like celebrating the harvest of all things coming to fruition on the farms, our gardens, and in the trees. Hallelujah, I love eating newly harvested apples and watching acorns tumble from the trees! It is the time when a smile comes to my Korean students' faces and they think of horses getting fat and their own desire to linger outside in the cool air to read a book.

On the other hand, when the leaves change from green to a sunburst of colors and start drifting down past us, we too feel like something is changing within us--dying, perhaps, making an exit for good. The result is an inexplicable sadness--a sadness so sweet that we feel as if we are mourning for all of humanity.

It is definitely a time to LOOK WITHIN and SEE what we can find and learn as a part of our cycle of life. Thank goodness for the SEASONS! Hallelujah for the FALL!
THE ICHTHYOSAUR EYE. Think about an ancient marine animal, the Ichthyosaur, which had the largest eye of any animal on this Earth! What an inviting image to use for symbolizing SEEING WITHIN! (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
Do you want to know a little bit about this ancient marine animal? The ICHTHYOSAUR lived about 190 million years ago, and kind of resembles a dolphin but was not a mammal. Mary Anning, is credited with finding the first Ichthyosaur along the southern coast of England in 1810 when she was 11 years old. As you know, I am married to a brilliant paleontologist (Tony Martin) and, therefore, have had the good fortune to see fossil Ichthyosaurs in Australia, as well as in England (see this blog entry), and can attest to the large ringed eyes that fossilize in the preserved Ichthyosaurs. They made a deep impression on me, and now I am expressing these feelings for the Ichthyosaur Eye in my art.

SEEING AND REPEATING. There are two ammonites in this "mandala" with four Ichthyosaurs. I allow the spiral shells to symbolize "revolutions"--a repeated cycle. Hence, they represent survival to me. The seasons may "turn, turn, turn," but we keep living repeatedly through these cycles. We survive, and I would hope with some reflection (seeing within) increase our understanding and pleasure here on this BEAUTIFUL EARTH. (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
Included in this image with four Ichthyosaurs that I have drawn are two ammonites. The ammonite is described by Brad Matsen in the beautifully illustrated book by Ray Troll, Planet Ocean: Dancing to the Fossil Record, in this way: 

"The history of life is great theater, with survival getting top billing. No more luminous star than the ammonite ever hit the stage....Hundreds of species of ammonites were masters at this (survival), emerging in the mid-Paleozoic era about 400 million years ago and existing as distinct species for over 330 million years, through several mass extinctions."

So at the same time we hold the image of the Ichthyosaur Eye as a symbol for LOOKING INWARD, we can also engage the use of another image from the fossil record for SURVIVAL--the ammonite! Not only does its record for survival through out time beat most invertebrates, but the form of its shell is also the shape of a spiral! And spirals allow us to think in circles in cycles repeating--something similar to our lives!

That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me and tell me what you think of my images with the ICHTHYOSAUR EYE! The Ichthyosaurs! The Ammonites! What do you think of the symbolism? Does FALL make you look within?
SAPELO FOR SCALE.  (Art and photo by Hallelujah Truth)


  1. Your blog as well as your images are very introspective....Sapelo seems to like your art...

    1. Yes Darlene, you are correct. I call myself a visionary artist as I am interested in exploring the subconscious and archetypes. Kitties tend to like to sit on top of my art.

  2. I love building on those things out in the world that take you inward. Your work and subject matter are simply wonderful!!!!

    1. Jes thanks so much for visiting my blog and writing a comment here. That means a lot to me. And thank you for the compliment!

  3. I admired the photos on FB and didn't realize they connected to this insightful blog. I read a book a few years ago about the girl on the British coast. Fascinating world in which we live. I like the idea of contemplation with the fall. It is a hard season for me. As a little girl, I suffered from severe separation anxiety with the start of school....and those emotions, long buried, always surface. I keep them at bay. Maybe I need to be more at peace with them, to observe, as you say, and learn. Thank you.

  4. Janice, you are so kind to call my blog "insightful." Thank you. Yes, you read about Mary Anning. I think they are making that into a movie. I plan on seeing it when it comes out.

    I understand what you mean about fall creating anxiety. I think for people who are introspective, and a writer like you, it is difficult to prepare a face to greet the public. Where we were children, we hadn't developed the skill yet. Would love to know more about your journey.