Monday, July 9, 2012


                 "Spirit is the silent spaces between the  thoughts,"
Deepak Chopra.

We travelers hopped the South Shore train to Chicago to enjoy a day at the Field Museum on a sunny summer morning.  I had never been on a train before!   The awe, majesty and power of trains always leaves me speechless. 

Tai Chi practice had strengthened and balanced me for the trip.  I was fully prepared.  During the ride, I practiced some Tai Chi in Flight by Paul Lam, M.D., to aid comfort and range of motion.  When we were directed to "move up" several cars to consolidate space and facilitate exiting, I had no trouble navigating the swiftly swaying machine.

Viewed from the train, Downtown Chicago buildings blossomed up like concrete and steel flowers.  Then we exited the train and briskly walked to the museum in the bright sunshine and warm breeze.  There were long concrete steps to climb up into the Field Museum.  Again, Tai Chi prepared me.  We quickly bought our tickets and entered the special exhibit The Horse (2011).  My whole being lit up!  First I saw the mock ups of prehistoric horses with three toes!  They had tan and grey patterns with black leg barring mimicking our Tomcat Tom's coloring and markings!  I remembered reading that some dinosaurs may have had red/orange color with orange ringed tails.  I thought about our two golden cats, both sporting orange rings on their furry tails.  I absorbed images rather than thought/words.

I turned, I saw it.  My heart smiled!  One of the horse head panels from Chauvet Caves in Southern France was reproduced in full color along with some horse art from other caves.  A panel of four "living" horse's heads and shoulders simultaneously froze and warmed me with awe and wonder.  The artist painted various ear positions, eye and muzzle expressions making each horse unique, personalities revealed for the viewer.  I felt rather than saw.  The three dimensional effects went way beyond the skill of known "artists" 40,000 years ago.  Chauvet cave paintings were created approximately 35,000 years before the the art work of Ancient Egypt appeared.  All are fully alive in space and timing. 

We slowly wound around the horse exhibit.  Coming into view were several original Currier and Ives lithographs.  One displayed a portrait of Sham, the Godolphin Arabian.  Time stopped!  Sham was a much darker bay color than I had imagined.  I lingered and felt details and skills of intricate design, becoming one with the horse.

After the intense horse show, we were ready for a lunch rest at the museum.  Refreshed, we entered the Egyptian Rooms, showing reproductions of tomb paintings, hieroglyphs, sculpture, jewelry and more.  Another artist, a museum worker, told me the Egyptian artists used egg tempera and water color based paints for vivid color and long lasting effects.  Of course, I loved the sculptures of Bastet, cat goddess, the most.  She is sometimes shown with kittens.  Royal Temple cats wore collars of precious metals and jewels. I pictured Chessie, our own Egyptian model, stemming from small African Wild Cats living along the Nile in ancient times.  Chessie, sporting her earrings and ruling cats and people in a Temple of ancient Egypt, is easy to see.  

Breezing through the taxidermy exhibit always draws me near as I saw the Cheetah family and Snow Leopard cubs with painted backdrops setting the sage.  I felt again power of deer, fox, wolf, and many birds.  Again I felt stamina and enjoyment without fatigue thanks to Tai Chi practice.

"I want to go to the gift shop!" 

On our way out of the museum, "Here it is!"

Oh, how fun to view all the treasures and wander through the "everythings."  In my palm, I rested a small hand painted statue of Bastet made in Egypt.  I resisted her, knowing so many sacred items are already waiting at home.  I stopped and picked up a Hieroglyphic Book with basic meanings and translations.  Maddy bought the book!

Taking the town bus then walking up to the Millennium Park in Chicago was fun on the run as we prepared to enter the train's pick up point.  Millennium Park has beautiful peaceful gardens, a Zen moment in a busy concrete jungle.  The train was welcome rest as we sank into the large seats.  Home in time for sunset was icing on the cake for a day filled with space and timing.

Maddy and I enjoyed leafing through the Hieroglyph book.  Maddy quickly picked up the techniques and meanings.  Her work shows personality in the figure of "cat" plus icons like "goddess" and "animal" added to a name.

 "You are more than the best you can imagine,"
                                         Deepak Chopra

Related Posts
Mrs. Harris is a Sand Cat  (June 2012), The Little Chessie That Could, more fun with hieroglyphs (Sept 2011),  Welcoming Mrs. Harris (May 2011), What Kind of Animal Are You? (Jan 2011)

Resources  quotes from Deepak Chopra's 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey as shown on, The Best of the Oprah Winfrey Show.  Field Museum Chicago IL USA

King of the Wind, The Story of the Godolphin Arabian by Margaret Henry and illustrated by Wesley Dennis.  Write Your Own Egyptian Hieroglyphs by Angela McDonald, fun with Hieroglyphs.   Dr. Paul Lam, a family practice physician in Sydney, Australia creates Tai Chi for Health programs.  Articles, research, DVDs, music, workshops and more  Silver Butterfly Create A Vision is a Tai Chi journey with a mystic twist.  Request free illustrated copy PDF format.  Paintings and prints are available.

Silver Tower, Chicago, photo by Emilie

Chauvet Caves ink sketch by Dahlis of horse panel (positions of horses vary from original cave painting)

Hieroglyphs by Maddy:  Mrs. Harris, our orange cat, (Ms. Hrrs + cat emblem.)  Egyptian Hieroglyphs have no vowels. 

Madison (Mdsn + Goddess emblem)

Dahlis (Dhls + Animal Skin emblem)