Four years ago, on the winter solstice, Aerophant took wing.
For the blog's insignia I borrowed this image of the aerophants, which I had clipped out of Harper's magazine nearly a decade earlier. When I saw the picture, I had that gasp of cosmic recognition you get when you unexpectedly see yourself in someone else's face: Why, that's me. They are me.
The photograph—and here is where things get confusing—was taken by the German zoologist Dr. Peter Ameisenhaufen, who stumbled upon the aerophants on a trip to Kenya sometime in the 1930s. While Dr. Ameisenhaufen is entirely fictional—he was the creation of Spanish artists Joan Fontcuberta and Pere Formiguera—the aerophants he discovered are not. I mean, they may be mythical but they are quite real.
The aerophant is the embodiment of possibility and wishfulness. That's what I recognized in them all those years ago. If elephants can fly, anything is possible. An aerophant is more than a corporeal being; any product of the human imagination—a poem, a song, a painting—that you create and send out into the world on its own two wings is a kind of aerophant.
Four years is young for an aerophant, but ancient for a blog. To be honest sometimes it's hard to get this aerophant off the ground. On heavy gravity days, the aerophant will not fly at all. Still, one must not give up too easily. To try again, to fail again, to fail better (thank you, Samuel Beckett) is the very definition of what it means to be an aerophant.