20. THE ROAR ROAR TIGER AND THE FIRE BIRD

Artwork by Cynthia Lopez

March 2013
Caracas
Venezuela

Now, I will tell you a story. A story I lived, a tale that will bring you closer to me.

A few years ago, you weren’t yet born and I was very small, as small as a bean.
A small bean wrapped in cotton that grew and grew with each and every day. Water and light were all I needed.
Hugged by this soft cotton of love, I started letting my roots out, I grew until my cotton arms seemed too small for me. My parents were big, and they took care of me. They wanted me to grow free so they put me on the ground. They wanted me to be able to chose what I wanted to grow up to be. I already felt part of my being and I knew that I wanted to live amongst nature.

In school something followed me increasingly more day by day. I could hear ROAR ROAR everyday. One day I could hear such a loud ROAR that it started raining. It rained and it rained forming big and small puddles and I happily ran and stepped on the wet dirt. Was it water that fell from the sky and got me wet on that particular day? There was a puddle that seemed different. A puddle that shon and called me. The puddle said:

– Come my love, come… you’ll see I will be good to you!

Believing its’ words, I let myself go and inside those waters something roared. What was it? It wasn’t a fish or a frog. It was a tiger that went ROAR ROAR.
A beautiful white tiger with soft fur. Woowwww, scary! I wanted to touch that soft fur, I wanted to feel every hair and know what it was like to be a tiger. The tiger looked me in the eye, smiled and said:

– Don’t be afraid, come closer, you’ll see that I am also small.
And he went on roaring.

I could not face my fear. I left running and went back home scared, opened the door and hide in my favourite hiding spot. Near my father, that’s where I went whenever something was going on. My father was big. He had long arms and long legs, and when he crossed them they became my hiding place. Only I had the key, I would hold that leg and for me it would become a big wooded door. This way, only people I wanted would get in.
There I could play safe and I needn’t be scared of anything. I felt big like my father and when I didn’t feel like playing I would just talk to him. That day, still tired, I told him what happened.

– Father, father, it was in the school of life!
And hugged by his legs, that’s when I realized the tiger could not hurt me.

The next day, I was running and jumping through the school again. Once more I heard the ROAR ROAR. It was the tiger! That day, without it calling me, I gathered my strength and approached it. I closed my eyes and touched that soft fur.

– Wooooww, so soft! I want to have a fur like yours! I want to be like you, I want to be a ROAR ROAR tiger! What do I have to do to be a ROAR ROAR tiger?
He didn’t answer me.
Weird, was it a dream? It seamed so real, that ROAR ROAR and the soft fur.

Tightening my fingers I pitched my skin and felt a soft skin, as soft as the tiger’s fur.
I looked at the puddle again and there was the tiger, but now it followed me every time I moved. I would blink and he would blink too, I stuck my tongue out and he would too. We would do the same silly faces together. I realized that the puddle was a big water mirror and that, after all, the tiger was me. All this time I was always the ROAR ROAR tiger and I just needed to face my fear.
– Jiiieehaaaa! What joy!!!
I ran and I jumped, jumped and ran, I felt my paws touching the grass, my claws holding the ground, my whiskers dancing in the wind and I shouted: ROAR ROAR!

Each time I did it the ground would shake. ROAR and louder ROAR ROAAAAR. And again the clouds got scarred and started crying.
– OOHHH, but I am a nice boy. I didn’t mean to scare you nor make you cry with my ROAR ROAR.

I came back home and sat in my long legs hiding place. I was hearing thoughts of unknown voices in my head.

– Being a tiger is not so easy!

I spoke to my father and told him that I wanted to live in nature, but I didn’t want to scare the clouds.
– Father, I like the sun and the clouds, I don’t want them to cry when I scream my loud ROAR ROAR! I am still small, can I be another animal? I would like to know how the sun and the clouds live.
– How do I get closer to them? Do I have to grow a lot to get there?

– To reach the clouds and the sun, you only need to fly. Fly my dear, fly!

– And now what? Without any wings how will I be able to fly?

– You can be what you want my son, remember that we all have a gift, we all have an art. Your art is FEELING. When you wish for something to happen, just FEEL!

And so I did. I felt and felt. I felt the sun and the clouds. I felt the passing of the moons, the day to day and let myself be taken by time. Time made me grow and took me through the skies. I got what I was missing. I got a beautiful pair of wings that taught me how to fly.

I fly and fly.
What am I?

I am what I am!
Now, I am a bird, a bird with big wings. I like to fly and fly. To fly higher everyday, to let myself be taken by strong emotions. Up and down, to open my wings and feel the sun warming my feathers. With time some feathers might fall and the moons go on crossing the big starry sky. I’ve learnt that I don’t grow new feathers, but I go on flying. I want to fly until when and where I can. With me I take everyone who is wingless and wants to fly. Together we fly through mountains, we fly over salt bathed seas.

I am not a common bird, and I don’t know exactly what I am, but I know how to fly. I also know I am fire, that I am hot and that I can give heat. I give all the warmth that goes through my body. But like every fire, there are moments when my flames are gone, and it is pointless to ask of me heat. It’s like a glass of water. If we drink that water we need to fill it up again.
Each bird has its’ nest and the advantage of being a bird is that we can make a new nest almost everywhere. We like peaceful places so we can rest before flying again.
So I fly.
When you can’t see me use your gift too. -Feel. Feel me flying with the wind.
Feel the heat of my flames.
I am a fire bird.
Fly with me too.

 

ARTWORK

Author: Cynthia López
Materials
: Graphite pencil; Ink