Shahriar Shahriari

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Message of the Month

October, 1998

Dogs, Pigeons, & Statues

"All’s well that ends well!" .... or is it?

In front of my apartment there is a park where recently they have displayed a sculptor’s work, consisting of a shepherd, his sheepdog and ten sheep. Sometimes looking out of my balcony I see dogs coming towards the sheep, and mistaking them for dogs, they start sniffing them. After a while, when it dawns on them that these are merely stone creatures, the dogs simply leave their mark and leave.

I often wonder if the artist had known the plight of this work of art, whether he would ever have sculpted them! And then I am reminded of the many world class landmarks such as Trafalgar Square in London, where Nelson’s Column is adorned with the gastronomic output of pigeons. Or how many other monuments have been reworked by seagulls, geese and a host of other animals and other natural phenomena.

The next question that comes to mind is whether there is any of our own work that has been left at the mercy of nature or other human beings, and if so, what state is it in now? Then we must ask ourselves would we have created the things that we have, had we known the plight they would be facing? Does it really make sense to proclaim "all’s well that ends well?"

And what of children? When we give birth to our children, while we have hopes and fantasies about their future life, in all honesty we have no idea how they will turn out to be. Yet we give them birth. And rightly so too, because in giving birth, we bring a new life, a new entity into the world, and allow it to take a life of its own.

And this is how it should be not only with our children but also with all our creations, whether they are artistic, professional, personal or public in nature. This is what life is about…. To create and to let the creation take a life of its own, with its own encounters and experiences, be they encounters with dogs, pigeons, or anything else.

All is well, regardless of how it ends.

Shahriar Shahriari
Vancouver, Canada
October 1998

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