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The Poetry of Everyday LifeStorytelling and the Art of Awareness$
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Steve Zeitlin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501702358

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501702358.001.0001

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The Grease Lamp’s Flicker and Flare

The Grease Lamp’s Flicker and Flare

Dark Caves Illuminate

(p.227) 21 The Grease Lamp’s Flicker and Flare
The Poetry of Everyday Life

Steve Zeitlin

Cornell University Press

This chapter suggests that each of our souls is akin to that flickering, wavering light dancing upon the stone pallettes of early humans who painted in dark caves. It says a tiny lamp burns in each of us, flickering as we move through the cave of our experience, illuminating the bones of reindeer and fish, the small images of our daily lives. Our peak moments, however, are like the huge painted images—the aurochs, bison, and bulls—that appear suddenly before us in the flare of our lamps. In these transcendent moments, we witness the grand ideas that shape our path. In modern times, we are far removed from the cave painters' world of ceremony. The cave paintings represent a behest from our ancestors to record our own experiences on the page, canvas, stage, or screen so that others might discover them. Only a few of the many painted caves have been preserved, just as most—but not all—of our artistic works are destined to remain undiscovered.

Keywords:   early humans, caves, cave painters, cave paintings, ancestors, art, souls

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