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Friday, January 20, 2012


The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol of a snake eating its own tail. No beginning, no end, and therefore a symbol of the eternal cycle of things. There’s a lot of mythology that goes with it, and if you’re interested, you can go here to read more about it. I’m usually a very 2-dimensional girl, but I made this out of Sculpey. I don’t like the biting part, so I made my snake never-ending without pain. I suppose that’s unrealistic, but that’s the way I’d like life to be.

Today was one of those days when all the old people escaped into public places -- the nasty and/or daft old people. You know them. They’re the types who run over your foot with the grocery cart, stand in the middle of the aisle so nobody can go anywhere, and drive about 15 mph below the speed limit in a 25 mph zone. They don’t remember how money works any more, but they can tell you about how they used to grind flour between stones.

As I was stuck driving home behind an oldster straddling 2 lanes of traffic with the left blinker permanently on, it occurred to me that just perhaps, the old people were only there to annoy me because I wanted a distraction today. My mind was twirling with worries about other problems, bigger problems I can’t do a thing about because it doesn’t matter how much wisdom I acquire, people are going to make their own mistakes. I really hate that. I guess that’s why it’s just easier to get mad at old people, while I worry about how they’re going to carry their groceries inside, if they’ll have an accident, and why aren’t their relatives taking care of them anyway? Then I feel more impotent aggravations on top of my other impotent aggravations.


It all boils down to what goes around, comes around. All of us came into the world naked and helpless, go to school, despair over pimples, get our hearts broken, get jobs, fall in love, go to the grocery store… and eventually we’re old, and eventually after that, we’ll die. We’re replaced by younger generations who will go through exactly the same things, the same way we replaced the people before us. I’m not sure if this provides me with comfort or a sense of futility about all of our struggles.

My mom’s neighbor gave me an old newspaper a while ago. It’s dated October 8, 1914, so British troops rushing to Antwerp was the main headline, but they found a lot of space for gossip on the front page. People don’t seem very different then than they are today.

Let’s just sing with the Byrds :)


  1. LIke your spin on twirl. I'm a big Ouroborus fan - shows up in my doodles fairly often. Cool newspaper, by the way - thanks for sharing

  2. That's a cool snake! And props to you for making it a painless affair. :)

    I can't wait to be an oldster and block all the grocery aisles. Then again, why wait.

  3. I have always fancied making one of those in my silversmithing classes Linda. Using metal clay might even be an easier way of creating one? I too hate the idea of it eating itself and I am not a fan of snakes so I love your adaptation! Great old newspaper..thanks for showing it.
    Jane x

  4. I'm laughing at the idea of Bella blocking the grocery aisles :) Somehow I get the idea she'd be helping the daft old ladies getting things off the top shelf instead. It's interesting how lasting the Ouroborus is to artists. I think it would be beautiful in silver Jane!

  5. Lol! I had the "old" experience a couple of years ago, when some college students after a party, decided to traipse through my yard at 2:00AM, as a shortcut to their cars! I yelled at them, "Get out of my yard!" I felt so crotchety and was informed by my teenager, I sounded like an old woman! Lol! So I guess I'm turning...:)

    Wonderful imagery for what we all must become in the end...old. Thanks for making me think...again! :)

  6. Nice post Linda. I love your narrative. It's always comfort and never futile... :)

  7. Good to see you working in sculpey. I like the design, and you left an opening so you can hang it up--Nice!

  8. I guess I knew I was crotchety when I yelled at the neighbor kids for picking my daffodils -- though to be fair, they were picking ALL of them. I did make the snake so I can hang it up ML. Thanks for the comments!

  9. A very thoughtful post and I can totally relate with getting frustrated with old people. I don't think it's all futile. Everything will die and come to an end but I like the idea of having an awesome time as much as I can while am on the journey there (hopefully it's a long journey..I like the idea of dying old rather than dying young). Hope you can figure out solutions or the solutions present themselves to you for your other worries!

  10. "What goes around, comes around". The ultimate philosophical twirl, and well illustrated by the eternal snake.


  11. Indeed, no--people are no doubt exactly the same.

    I don't think about the snake eating its tail as being about pain at all. It seems much more about us all being consumed/consuming ourselves. I know exactly what you mean about getting mad at people who really aren't the source, when you just don't feel like think about/worrying about the bigger things. I've got a "bigger thing" going on in my life right now, and it's hard not to panic somethings. But making art helps.

    Thanks for your comments on my blog (and yes, it's okay to be hard on oneself, because I really really like a lot of the stuff I make, and when I don't like something, it's very instructive to figure out why). And what that picture doesn't show is all the dead space that I cropped out.

  12. Hey Stephen Decatur? Well it got me googling as a good Linda post does. And snakes alive? :) Do you know Yeats Gyre? It's kind of the same thing without the snake, so painless as well. Oh and while I am here great snake :) We have them coming out of the woodwork in Oz. I had one come at me the other day after I threw a big rock at it to scare it off. Moral is: Use a BIGGER rock :)

    Heh, but seriously, you have a lot of Talents Linda. artist, writer and now Sculpey modeller!

    Ahh old people? I used to think Gee, they were young once. Now I think, gee, I'll be like that soon :)

    Amazing how the perspective changes.

    Hold on, I am typing this while standing in the middle of an aisle going at 25 mph in 1 5kph zone :)

    Watch out, Finnie's on the loose :)

    see you

  13. Running over our feet with their cart. Ha! So true. I love your honesty. Poor oldies but goodies. My husband always says when he's old and about to lose his drivers licence anyway he'll do a drive by and take off someone's drivers side door. You know from those people who carelessly leave it wide open in busy tight traffic conditions. We'll see...

  14. I'm familiar with that song, but this is the first time that I associated it with biblical scripture. Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8; verse 2 being, "a time to be born, and a time to die." The whole poem helps me to deal with life for what it is, and will be.

  15. That song was a hit when I was a junior in high school in Germany and Camelot as we knew it came to an end. To everything there is a season. Interesting post.

  16. Thanks everybody! And the really good news is that my comments seem to be working again. Yay! I'm not exactly afraid of getting old. I'm just afraid of being the kind of old that gets daft or nasty. Plus that whole bit about our faces sagging to the floor. That's fine on old people, but I don't like the idea of that happening to my face.

  17. Really nice take on this weeks theme