forest of the ancients

The professor who teaches metalworking and shop classes gets called the Old Professor, but he isn’t old. At least, he doesn’t look it. He gets called the Old Professor, but he calls himself Sequoia.

Sequoia is eight feet tall, with metal in his eyes and kindness in his hands and silence in his mouth. You’re a psych major without a drop of poetry in your soul but when you first heard his voice, something in your lizard-brain said “this is what a forest’s voice would sound like.”

There are indeed forests, inked into his dark brown arms - woods going up into misty mountains, ancient trees in forests primordial growing amongst ferns the size of houses, twiggy saplings rearing their heads above the fertile ash of pyroclasric flow.

There’s probably iron in the ink, an art major tells you. “Lots,” says another, subdued. “Red caps chased me to the shop building. He caught the leader by the arm and…I saw it burn.”

You don’t believe that, but it makes you shiver anyway. Even if his touch did burn Them, wouldn’t it be from the iron in his skin thanks to his line of work?

Among his red-black locs are iron rings made from old nails, silver rings so pure one of Them grumbled to you that they sing, and beads of green sea-glass and jade and one glittery chartreuse pony bead that Jimothy gave him in exchange for a whole sack of red ones. He’s free with the rings (usually to students) and the glass (usually to Them) but he treasures that damn ugly little plastic bead and you’ve seen him press it lightly to his mouth when he’s thinking.

Sequoia must have been a false name when he chose it. You don’t think anyone on campus would claim it is now. Really, you find that the most telling thing of all - though what it tells, you’re never sure.

But there is kindness in his hands, and welcome in his silence, and when you’ve all but fallen through his doorway with the tang of blood in the back of your throat from running and the sound of hooves behind you (not running; it would have been less frightening if whatever was back there had bothered to RUN) there is tea in his hands too, and you feel the hollow in your chest begin to heal as you pour out your story and your terror to a watchful face full of quiet interest and altogether free of judgement.

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First look at Ainbo, an animated film by José Zelada at Tunche Film (Peru).

Ainbo is a girl born in the Amazon rain forest. She is protected by Motelo Mama, a gigantic turtle and the most powerful spirit of the forest. Her life changes when Yacurunu, an ancient demon, threatens her home.  

The project will be presented in Berlin for international sales, but the delivery date is still unknown. 

artemis · goddess of the hunt, forest and moon 

Artemis is known as the goddess of the hunt and is one of the most respected of all the ancient Greek deities. It is thought that her name, and even the goddess herself, may even be pre-Greek. She was the daughter of Zeus, king of the gods, and the Titaness Leto and she has a twin brother, the god Apollo. Not only was Artemis the goddess of the hunt, she was also known as the goddess of wild animals, wilderness, childbirth and virginity. Also, she was protector of young children and was know to bring and relieve disease in women. In literature and art she was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrow.

[Rq] Each house as: cities
  • Gryffindor: New York (US) – hectic&choatic, never sleeps, high buildings with big lit screens
  • Hufflepuff: Barcelona (Spain) – bright sun, cheerful colors, walls covered in street art
  • Ravenclaw: Athens (Greece) – strong winds, myths and legends, historical places
  • Slytherin: Nara (Japan) – ancient, undisturbed, shrines and forests
Pan(ic)

In Ancient Greek religion, Pan is the god of the wild, shepherds, flocks, rustic music, and is often accompanied by forest nymphs. He has the hindquarters and horns of a goat, similar to that of a faun or satyr. His home is Arcadia, and Pan is associated with fertility and Spring. From one aspect of Pan’s nature Greek authors derived the word panikon, meaning “sudden fear”. Pan’s angry voice was so frightening, that it caused panic to anyone who was unlucky to be close enough to hear it.

Panic Phenomena 

Legend has it that one of Pan’s favourite diversions was to torment ancient Greek travellers traversing the byways of that once-forested land. Pan would lie in wait, concealed in the bushes, awaiting his unwitting victims. When a traveler passed by his hiding place, Pan would gently rustle the bushes, engendering a sense of apprehension in the person walking by. The traveler would pick up his pace, and Pan would then scurry ahead through the forest to intercept his quarry at the next dark turn of the path. There, he would rustle some more vegetation, and the traveler would make even greater haste as Pan’s amusement grew.

By this time, the traveler would begin to breathe heavily, and his heart would begin to pound, and the sounds of his own quickening footsteps would be magnified in the stillness of the forest to resemble those of a pursuing wild animal. One more rustle of the bushes from Pan and the traveler would be hurtling as fast as he could run along the dark and narrow forest path. It took no more provocation from Pan to keep the human interloper in Pan’s forest kingdom from fleeing as quickly as possible. Never would the unsuspecting traveler re-enter the forest without experiencing a wave of apprehension. Thus did the term panic originate.

Many people describe a dreadful atmosphere that suddenly approaches them when walking alone through the forest - at first everything becomes deadly silent before a strange fear starts to rise, which is then followed by an unusual buzzing sound - similar to that when one’s ear rings

In the Battle of Marathon (490 BC), it is said that Pan inspired panic in the hearts of the Persians, allowing the Athenians, whom he favoured, to gain the upper hand. Pan was also considered responsible for causing individual, possession-like disruptions of the psyche, or panolepsy. In addition, Pan was later known for his music, which was capable of arousing inspiration, sexual desire, or even panic itself, depending upon the god’s intentions.

flickr

Kinkakuji Temple by Patrick Foto ;)
Via Flickr:
Kinkakuji Temple (The Golden Pavilion) in Kyoto, Japan