Beautiful Creatures

Coffee, books, scarves, my ukulele, Paris. These are a few of my favourite things. I’m sure this has become more than apparent throughout these pages. Seems about time to add on to the list methinks!

I adore animals. Creatures great & small. Our furry (or scaly or smooth or slimy) friends. Even when I was a wee little kid I made better friends with animals than with other human beings. People get so damn complicated with all their thoughts, expectations, and judgements. I’m clearly completely enamoured by my mop of a dog, but that does not mean dogs are my favourite animal. The animal trio I have a particularly soft spot for takes on a slightly more exotic nature…

1. Octopus

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2. Elephant

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3. Sloth

[What quality is the most endearing and notorious about your typical sloth?
It’s about the laziest lump of fur in existence.
So this is my picture of a sloth.
I was too lazy to paint it.]

The octopus. I did not realize I am wildly enthralled by these wondrous creatures until this very summer. It was a visit to the Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto that did it. Everyone was oohing and aahing over the sharks and swordfish and what have you, while I lost myself in front of the octopus tank for a good quarter of an hour, staring – how rude of me – in raptures at the old octopus.

I was entirely mesmerised by its being, swirling all around in and out of itself. It appeared knobbly and somber, with an aura not entirely unlike that of a grumpy old man in a rocking chair. Indeed, it seemed to rock and sway with its breath, emanating wisdom and peace. It does not merely look old, but ancient.

The shape of the octopus is so indiscernible and fluid, it’s surface so knobbly, that it was a creature out of this world, alien (my mind wanders to Doctor Who). To me, the octopus is the ugliest creature in existence, in the most beautiful way possible. All the details of its appearance are completely unattractive, but the entity of it in peaceful slumber never fails to bring a smile to my lips and mesmerise my mind.

I never used to give a toss about these animals, but that is because I would automatically think of the storybook drawing of an octopus. All clear-cut lines and smiley faces, this image of an octopus is only a shadow of the real thing. And perhaps I like them so because of their inky quality. I spill ink onto paper day in day out, in writing. They spill ink onto other creepy crawlies that scare them in the water. We have so much in common, I feel a kinship forming. Or an inkship – any anagramming fans out there?

Keep on swirling through the seas my knobbly, inky friends.

Well, I did not mean to start preaching about the octopus, but I did anyway. I have been doing other things than obsessing over these animals, really. I’ve been walking and walking just for the sake of walking. I wouldn’t be surprised if my legs fall off any time now. I find all sorts of things on my walks. Seaside views, boutiques tucked away behind cobblestones, new friends, and discarded art. See for yourself.

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Carefully looked at, this tree carving is beautiful! And it was just lying in the park, forgotten. Goes to show the world is absolutely brimming with art, if you just keep an eye out.

xox

Nelli

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