Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Aerophant is four

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.

16 comments:

BK Publishers said...

And the difference this blog has made to me over these four years is too much to describe here. Happy birthday, Aerophant!

Neal said...

Why, I feel certain I saw the silhouette of an aerophant against the lunar eclipse last night.

Happy anniversary!

P.S. Might you add a place on your blog to post aerophant sightings?

Otis Nebula said...

Thank you for giving us hope. This blog is generous and grand and full of goodness. May it live forever.

Heliopoli said...

Happy anniversary, Aerophant, and may you continue to soar on golden wings!

itzktb said...

Happy Birthday, Aerophant! I look forward to the next four! Much love, Cake.

Jeffrey Stock said...

I love you and appreciate you.

padiwack said...

I love it here, and I'm grateful to be able to visit. Long may you write!

John said...

Happy birthday, Aerophant! The forecast I saw this morning called for low gravity days into the weekend....

Pete said...

Long live Aerophant!

Tai said...

Thank you, Pete! Have you seen the Aurora yet this year?

John, there's nothing like a low-gravity day to lift my spirits. I'd better buckle on the wing inhibiters or I might never come down.

Thank you, Padiwack, I'm grateful for your presence here.

Jeff dear, there are no words….

Cake, it's amazing that we're both still painting stripes on a cow. Er, on two cows.

Adam, I still find inspiration from my virtual rambles in Heliopoli, your beautiful ancient city of the future.

Otis Nebula – is that you, Andrea? I love Otis Nebula! I want everyone to read it. It is the zine of my dreams.

Neal, that is such a good idea – we've got to start documenting these aerophant sightings. Right now I think most people probably report them as UFOs and that's just plain wrong.

Jeevan, thank you! And I love the BK Communiqué: it's always stimulating and unpredictable. It's just so you.

Querulous Squirrel said...

Such a good-hearted blog!

Debbie Loh said...

Hey I love Aerophant already! Keep it going!

- all the way from Malaysia :)

mandarine said...

Joyeux anniversaire, Aerophant.

mandarine said...

It seems I am a bit late, but as I live in France, it's a little fr away for me to come and visit more often that once or twice a year.

Tai said...

Hello Mandarine, thank you for making a cyber-transoceanic trip to see me!

Otis Andrea said...

yes, Otis Nebula is i, Andrea. a college buddy and i started it up over a year ago. have you really read it??? please explain. that is so exciting! will you perhaps let us publish something you've written? i would love that. if so, please write to me at otis@otisnebula.com. i check all the mail, read the slush, and design the website.