For about forty years and counting, a piece of blue paper measuring approximately 6×9″ has been tacked to the bulletin board in my father’s office. On that page is a pencil drawing of an orb-like elephant with crazy eyes and a strange little trunk. The word “elephant”, scrawled in capital letters, grazes the top of its back. The page is signed with a giant “D”.
During my college years, I borrowed this image created by my younger self for a project in a class on alternative photographic processes. I photocopied it onto a transparent sheet of plastic and used it as a negative.
The photographic print that resulted now sits in my office in a wooden frame that belonged to my maternal great grandmother. It’s an object imbued with the spirit of three generations and three incarnations. It fills me with wonder about a time that I do not remember.
They say an elephant never forgets, and so it goes that I share this tale and this silly little image on Elephant Appreciation Day. My drawing looks like a strange kind of heavenly body floating in a dark sky. It leads me to wonder if any elephants are trumpeting at the full moon on this night of the autumnal equinox.