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Gallery Ramblings


The Kraken
(January 25, 2015)
(Click on photos for a larger view)

"The Swiss release the kraken!"  That's what a noted economist (1) recently wrote after the Swiss revalued their currency and unlinked it from the euro.  I didn't know anything about a kraken so l googled it.  The kraken is an ocean monster believed to dwell off the coast of Norway and Greenland. A 13th century Norwegian scientific paper described an encounter with this monster.

“…It is said to be the nature of these fish that when one shall desire to eat, then it stretches up its neck with a great belching, and following this belching comes forth much food, so that all kinds of fish that are near to hand will come to present location, then will gather together, both small and large, believing they shall obtain there food and good eating; but this great fish lets its mouth stand open the while, and the gap is no less wide than that of a great sound or fjord, And nor may the fish avoid running together there in their great numbers. But as soon as its stomach and mouth is full, then it locks together its jaws and has the fish all caught and enclosed, that before greedily came there looking for food.” (Wikipedia)

Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote a poem about it -
              "The Kraken"
Below the thunders of the upper deep
Far far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides; above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumber'd and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

I don't know what the Swiss bankers have released but I don't think it has showed up yet. If and when it does, and if the economist is correct, we had better watch out and stay away from the open ocean.

A folk artist who might think about carving a good  kracken likeness might well consider starting with a large tree with aerial roots such as the Moreton Bay Fig or the Hawaiian Kapok.  Cut the trunk off near the base and trim the ends of the roots and begin carving. It would be at least 30 feet wide and weigh over 150 pounds but it would be a keeper.

(1) - Quote from John Mauldin's Newsletter Jan 20,2015