In October I had the pleasure of assisting author, Anne Mazer, deliver a creative writing workshop in Johnson Art Gallery at Cornell University in upstate New York.
As I wandered around the gallery this woodblock by Japanese artist Shosan Koson (1877-1945) kept drawing me back to take another look. I couldn’t stop gazing at the monkey reaching for the moon.
I was drawn by the intensity of the monkey’s expression as he hung on fragile branch of a tree and reached out a long arm to the reach the moon.
Has the shiny reflection beguiled him? Has the bright light lured him with a false promise?
Did he know it was only a reflection of the full moon? A trick of the light.
What will happen to him next? Will he shake off this moon madness or will he dive into the water?
Has he been distracted, as we all are from time to time, by shimmery shiny things? Or is his determination to ask for the moon to be admired?
A line from Shakespeare’s play, Othello springs to mind,
‘It is the very error of the moon; She comes more nearer earth than she was wont, and makes men mad.’
Is this the end or the beginning of the story? Or perhaps it is the tricky mid- point of a story. You decide.