Monday, December 10, 2007

Tears From Heaven

Op-ed airbrush drawing I did for Sydney Morning Herald last Thursday. So sensitive was the issue described by columnist I had trouble grabbing from air heart-rending images to start my drawing. Persistent was face of aboriginal child dying of ant bites and venom. Horrifying! I homed in on emotional angle, (had to; to do otherwise would be to trivialise seriousness of things). Read Miranda Devine's column.

Ants were biting on my brain lobes and finally doodled in digital images of a blue and a red ant. After scanning airbrushed image I did a negative image of one to get blue hue and sponged/saturated the red ant to give it more sting.

I never wanted to wear a black-arm band of history and dwell on negative emotions. As a Filipino immigrant whose kids were all born here, I do feel sympathy for indigenous people of Australia and respect their tribal and political Nations. They are a dignified race and has survived the tempest of past. Today matters most. I just hope government agencies would be more compassionate in their efforts to avoid this kind of tragedy.


Blue ant in retina might as well represent our early blue-eyed settlers, also a noble lot of people whose courageous hearts honed sharp their exploratory skills that helped develop this country. We could also acknowledge hardships endured by European immigrants who initially built our modern roads and highways, cutting through the Blue Mountains and beyond.
Thanks to wisdom shared to our young or "new" Australians by our aboriginal elders, their art, bush food, survival and tracking skills ; and "local knowledge" passed on to our young guardians of nature in this beautiful country tempered by extreme conditions.

Nature gets angry and we're helpless, mere ants on the foot of Mt. Pinatubo or Etna; but it's unnatural for humans to lack compassion. We took care of our species ever since against ravages of nature and dinosaurs. The incoherence of man and its consequences could still be rectified; similarly planting a tree is a good start as hundreds of trees disappear in the Amazon as I speak.

Ah, the politics of Greed. There would always be teardrops trapping the local red ants in misery and despair. May these tears from a cultural heaven sate the thirst of angst-ridden, red desert to alleviate suffering of traditional landowners.



Another kind of tears from heaven just pelted Sydney yesterday. I was running out front yard
with chair to shield my head to protect windscreen of trade van. I didn't know Eric, my youngest son took a video of me (above). Chunks fell on my shoulders (ouch, ouch!); it did hurt when bony parts get hit. They're a bit rough, too these hail stones. Dozens of people were injured. Friend of mine had car windshield shattered. Another had his lightdomes in roof collapsed. More to come!:-( When a black wall of cloud looms ahead in afternoon heat, RUN FOR COVER, THE SKY IS FALLING!)

Read SMH article

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