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I have always loved skulls. I have a groundhog skull in a glass bowl on my desk. I have a mouse in the freezer that I mean to get the skull from. I would actually love to collect more skulls and skeletons, it’s just not something that’s easy to come by unless you have a lot of money or know people who do a lot of hunting.
The thing that gets me is that so many people think collecting skulls is creepy and that people who do it are either evil or damaged somehow. Neither of those things is necessarily true. You never know what kind of person is into collecting what kind off thing. Especially when it comes to artists, we collect all sorts of things for all sorts of reasons.
It’s really sad that people think death is ugly and gross and evil. It’s just part of the cycle of life. Everything dies, that’s just the way things are. Appreciating this part of the life cycle is not wrong or bad in any way. It’s just a matter of seeing beauty in a place where most fail to see it. Personally, I think skulls and skeletons are beautiful and amazing. It’s fascinating to see what it is that holds things together and forms the basis of what they are. And there’s such amazing variety in skull shapes and sizes. It’s really quite wonderful.
Oddly, I’m not so big on taxidermy. Some mounts look really creepy, but I suppose that’s all about how they’re done. I’ve seen some that are truly amazing. I still want a mounted crow or raven for my office. I just want it done well so it doesn’t look like it’s about to devour people or something. As for skulls, I’d have a ton of them if I could. I’d even have a human one if it were legal. I’d probably have a whole wall dedicated to skulls and small skeletons.
I got my groundhog because it died near my apartment. God did that thing stink when I soaked the flesh off! But it was worth it. I still haven’t gotten around to the mouse though. The stink is what worries me, so it’s in the freezer until I can figure something out. I’d never kill something just for the skull, but I do want more. There was a guy who hunted a lot, the brother of a friend, and he said he’d get me some, but we lost contact. If there’s anyone out there who is killing animals for food anyway and could save the skulls for me, I’d love that.
At any rate, people need to stop being stupid and realize that there’s beauty in all sorts of things, even death. I mean hell, people love the changing leaves in fall, and what is that but the death of those leaves? Pretty though, right? And death leads to new life. It enriches the earth and makes way for new beauty. Even the worst things can be made beautiful. I’ve seen trash turned into wonderful sculpture. You never know. And beauty is different to every person. We don’t all see it the same, and we shouldn’t. That’s part of the joy of life, seeing and thinking differently from others. So if you’re into things that others don’t find beautiful, don’t worry and don’t change. Embrace who you are and what you love.
IF you have a garden, you could bury the mouse and let the worms feed, or under a flowerpot for a week to let the ants strip off the meat. That is what my friend does.
I read something about a place (probably out west) where they had a lot of skulls and bones for sale. The only customers they had were doctors and artists. 🙂
I have several skulls, a bison over my fireplace, to represent the physical and spiritual life buffalo gave us. And, a coyote skull I bought at wacipi. Coyotes are night singers and speak Lakota, so I need to remind myself to do that.