Sunday, January 17, 2010


The picture which accompanies the Phoenix, or fire bird, is the Pelican. This was a traditional symbol of the self wounding image of Providence that gives of its own life to sustain its young. The bird is in a way the waters of life, and the nest is the whirl pool in the waters, where the fledglings wait for their food. The image of food is also mixed with the idea of death--something has to die in order that others might be given sustenance for life. This is the ambiguity in the very concept of "Just food". The fish which fill the waters of life, are killed in order that the fledglings might have life. The bird is also linked to air--to the turbulence which gives rise to clouds, and the very monsoons that are so important for life on the
land. The tail of the descending bird, that hovers over the waters, could also be thought of as smoke.

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