Monday, November 21, 2011
"Vanity" Illustration Friday Nov 18, 2011
Inspired by the Illustration Friday quote:
"Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of the gentle people". - Garrison Keillor
I spent quite a while wondering where Keillor was going with this. Of course we would like to align ourselves with those gentle people whose campfires flicker in the gloom of elephantine shadows. Don't we always want to be seen as the kinder, gentler alternative - especially when vanity and greed are on the other side of the scale? On the other hand, pointing to ourselves and nodding with approbation is not necessarily a pleasant trait either. I decided to leave the equation alone and focus instead on elephantine vanity and greed.
Driving down the road I began to wonder what vanity and greed might be cloaking? Unattractive in themselves, they seemed in my mind to have a protective aura, to be a creation of how we wish to be seen, a concern with appearances. As though, through vanity, we were heaping ourselves under a substantial vestment or coat, heavy with embroidery and encrusted with gems, or the more modern alternative: fur. And yet, underneath, our malnourished selves hide an emaciated nature, a stingy spirit, an ungenerous inner self. We can stagger under the weight and be seen as substantial, but the rich covering only communicates to those outside. Inside, we are starving.