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Museum of the Sylphs

– Posted in: Aesthetics Collage & Montage Creativity Digital Art Digital Collage Surrealism Wood Engravings Wordless Wednesday


In the last of the Ages of Man — the age of our remembered ancestors — the ancient gods died, or forsook the Earth, or set out for domains more welcoming of their character; no one knew of their fate. Behind them they left the semi-divine spirits that animated the living, moving things of this world: the naiads, ondines, dryads, and sprites; the beings of water, wood, fire, and wind. These the earliest men had seen, revered, and pursued; particularly had men yearned for and chased the feminine among the spirits, and, failing to possess them, recounted them in tales and fables so as to hold fast something of them in memory. Legends abound of the grace and beauty of these female spirits, these sylphs.

Museum Of The Sylphs (2011). Digital collage created & copyright © by Eric Edelman. All rights reserved.

After centuries, the sylphs themselves disappeared. As with the gods, no one knew what became of them. To our remembered ancestors they left only their old legends and stories, which were passed down eventually to us. But some believed that before they vanished, the sylphs taught women the secrets of their grace, the tricks of movement and dance that had held the ancients rapt and motionless in adoration. The women who learned the craft of the sylphs gathered in small troupes, wandering the nations, performing their feats, and teaching their daughters those secrets as well.Festivals, games of grace and skill, and contests gave birth to carnivals and circuses.

In our own time, the spirit of wonder has been diluted by abundance. Miracles occur around us in every moment, only to pass unnoticed by our surfeited, dimmed eyes, our dulled souls. Wonder dies in every moment; the carnival, the circus, will not long survive it.

In the Museum of the Sylphs are to be found the performing descendants of those long-absent spirit beings — or, rather, their images. Those in whom a spark of wonderment still shines, find themselves entering the Museum in an idle moment. The idle moment extends into stolen time. They wander the halls as the hours pass, marveling at the trapeze performers, the high-wire jugglers, and the mermaids.

The visitors leave the Museum at last, faces flushed, breathing more quickly, moving with great animation, glancing this way and that. Gradually these symptoms lessen and fade away. Faces assume their customary colorless pallor. But smiles remain: tokens of love for grace and eternal beauty.

(All artwork, descriptions, & other text created & copyright © by Eric Edelman. All rights reserved.)

16 Comments… add one

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16 comments… add one
Leckeres für Mensch und Katze - Goodies for a pleasant life September 14, 2011, 2:44 pm

Thanks for linking up to Tina´s WW! Backlinks are appreciated 🙂

Eric Edelman September 14, 2011, 6:23 pm

Thanks very much for your visit, Tina! We also appreciate back-links.

GrammyMouseTails w-Linky! September 14, 2011, 6:52 pm

I wonder why man was always chasing after the feminine goddesses & likeness? Maybe females alive today are a bit of goddess still, most still get chases?

Eric Edelman September 15, 2011, 1:11 am

At root I think it has something to do with men’s biological attraction to women. Old myths explained that human beings used to consist of two souls in a spherical body, until the gods split them apart. They then wandered the earth looking for their “other half.” Even today, people often refer to their spouses as their “better half.” Could men be chasing after the perfection of women?

Sweet Peas {{LINKY}} September 14, 2011, 6:59 pm

Thanks for the Link Up!

Eric Edelman September 15, 2011, 12:42 am

You’re welcome! thanks for your visit!

Beth September 15, 2011, 11:40 am

Thanks for the link up! Amazing art and what a story behind it!

Eric Edelman September 15, 2011, 12:28 pm

Thanks very much, Beth! Like your site a lot– I can see I’ll be spending quite a bit of reading time there when I begin cooking for the winter.

Tomas September 18, 2011, 4:49 am

the picture interested me and very informative text provided wondrous food for thoughts that was so desirable to long hours of medical treatment I’m going through now. Thank you.

Eric Edelman September 19, 2011, 6:12 pm

Thank you very much for your kind comment, Tomas; I’m very pleased that you enjoyed this post. I hope that your medical treatments will soon conclude & that you’ll quickly feel well again. God bless you…

bethere2day September 18, 2011, 6:08 am

I like it, very imaginative

Sorry I am late but last week and this week I couldn’t seem to see anywhere to comment . 🙁

Eric Edelman September 19, 2011, 5:50 pm

Thanks very much for your comment and your visit. I’m sorry for your difficulty in accessing our site for commenting. When you have a chance, would you please e-mail us the details of your difficulties in leaving comments? We’d really appreciate any clues or help you can give us to resolve this situation (please send an e-mail with details to Thanks again!

Liz September 21, 2011, 2:26 am

I’m really glad to read such a great and insightful post.I get new info and it added up my knowledge today. Thanks!

Eric Edelman September 21, 2011, 4:19 pm

Thanks for your comment and your visit, Liz!

aquariann September 21, 2011, 4:03 pm

Intriguing collage!!

-:¦:- WW: Love That Chicken From Popeyes -:¦:-

Eric Edelman September 21, 2011, 4:15 pm

Thanks for the kind words, Aquariann!

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